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SirReadaLot.org


We Review the Best of the Latest Books

ISSN 1934-6557

September 2009, Issue #125

A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge by Josh Neufeld (Pantheon Books)

King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America by J. North Conway (The Lyons Press)

$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better by Christopher Steiner (Grand Central Publishing)

The Mentee's Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You by Lois J. Zachary, with Lory A. Fischler (Jossey-Bass)

Ores to Metals: The Rocky Mountain Smelting Industry by James Fell Jr. (A Timberline Book: University Press of Colorado)

Dillerland: The Story of Media Mogul Barry Diller by Jerome Tuccille (Alyson Books)

Taxpertise: The Complete Book of Dirty Little Secrets and Tax Deductions for Small Businesses the IRS Doesn't Want You to Know by Bonnie Lee (Entrepreneur Press)

K is for Kabuki: A Japan Alphabet by Gloria Whelan & Jenny Nolan (Discover the World Series: Sleeping Bear Press)

In Search of New Scales: Prince Edmond de Polignac, Octatonic Explorer by Sylvia Kahan (Eastman Studies in Music Series: University of Rochester Press)

However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, and a Journey Home by Awista Ayub (Hyperion)

Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement by Patricia Sullivan (New Press)

The US Army's First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950-1951 by Edward L. Posey (Savas Beatie)

Eden Within Eden: Oregon’s Utopian Heritage by James J. Kopp (Oregon State University Press)

Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive: Decolonizing Botanical Anishinaabe Teachings by Wendy Makoons Geniusz, illustrated by Annmarie Geniusz (Iroquois and Their Neighbors Series: Syracuse University Press)

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz (Hyperion)

Marketing Interior Design by Lloyd Princeton (Allworth Press)

The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolaño, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews (New Directions)

The Spirituality of Sex by J. Harold Ellens (Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality Series: Praeger)

Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement by Irene Spencer (Center Street)

The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together by Charles T. Tart (Institute of Noetic Sciences & New Harbinger Publications)

Biocultural Diversity and Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Human Ecology in the Arctic by Karim-Aly Kassam (University of Calgary Press)

Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate by Panel on Strategies and Methods for Climate-Related Decision Support, National Research Council (National Academies Press)

The Accidental Technology Trainer: A Guide for Libraries by Stephanie K. Gerding (Information Today, Inc.)


Arts & Photography / Comics & Graphic Novels / Sciences / Earth Sciences

A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge by Josh Neufeld (Pantheon Books)

I felt it was important to tell the story from the perspectives of a range of real people who had lived through the storm: well-off and poor, black and white, young and old, gay and straight, male and female, those who evacuated and those who stayed behind, people who were greatly affected by the flooding and even some who weren’t. So my first job was to act as a journalist: After I spoke with friends, friends of friends, tracked down accounts of the storm and its aftermath on the radio, in magazines and newspapers, and on the Internet, seven people emerged as A.D.’s ‘characters’: Denise, Leo, Michelle, Abbas, Darnell, Kwame, and The Doctor, whom I finally met in person in January 2007. It was then up to me to weave the characters’ stories together in comics form, illustrating the storm and their disparate paths into and through it – while periodically fact-checking with them and keeping up with their changing fortunes. – from an interview with the author

Overwhelming demand has propelled A.D. from its widely-read early Internet installments, serialized on SMITH in 2008-9, to this complete hardcover edition. Scheduled for publication on the fourth anniversary of the hurricane, it shines a light on the devastating truths and human triumphs of New Orleans after the deluge.

A.D. is a portrait of the city under siege. In this graphic novel, longtime American Splendor artist Josh Neufeld, an award-winning writer/artist who works primarily in the realm of nonfiction comics, depicts the extraordinary true stories of seven real New Orleans residents and their tales of survival in the days leading up to and following Hurricane Katrina.

This graphic novel makes plain the horrors and humanity triggered by Hurricane Katrina in the true stories of seven New Orleanians who survived the storm.

A.D. follows each of the seven from the hours before Katrina struck to its horrific aftermath. Readers meet Denise, a counselor and social worker, and a sixth-generation New Orleanian; ‘The Doctor,’ a proud fixture of the French Quarter; Abbas and Darnell, two friends who face the storm from Abbas's family-run market; Kwame, a pastor's son just entering his senior year of high school; and the young couple Leo and Michelle, who both grew up in the city. Readers watch as they make the wrenching decision between staying and evacuating. And they see them coping not only with the outcome of their own decisions but also with those made by politicians, police, and others like themselves – decisions that drastically affect their lives, but over which they have no control.

Denise experiences the chaos of the Superdome; the Doctor’s unscathed French Quarter home becomes a refuge for those not so lucky; Kwame remains wildly unsettled well into the future; and Leo, a comic-book fan, and Michelle lose everything but each other.

Unforgettable, breathtaking chronicle of New Orleans before, during and after Katrina. I guarantee you will hungrily devour this beautiful, heartbreaking project. – Glen Weldon, NPR
A.D. is one of the best-ever examples of comics reportage, and one of the clearest portraits of post-Katrina New Orleans yet published. An essential addition to the ongoing conversation about what Katrina means, and what New Orleans means. – Dave Eggers, author of Zeitoun and What Is the What
American Splendor artist Neufeld beautifully depicts the lives of seven New Orleans residents who survived Hurricane Katrina. … Neufeld’s low-key art brings a deeply humanizing element to the story. Though the devastation caused by the hurricane and the government’s lackluster response are staggering, Neufeld expertly underscores the resilience of the people who returned to rebuild their lives and their city. – Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
Graphic artist Neufeld paints an emotive portrait of New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. . . . the braided story of seven people involved in the events – three tell of their exodus and the after-effects, four ride out the storm and its wake at home – provides an intimate appreciation of their frazzled emotional states in response to varied tribulations. . . . Neufeld’s words and images are commensurable and rhythmic, and the vernacular is sharp. Bristling with attitude and pungent with social awareness. – Kirkus
Josh Neufeld is a master storyteller. A.D. is intimate and yet seismic in its scope. Through six finely drawn lives, we end up with new understanding of both devastation and redemption. His art takes us to the depth of the humanity of those we cherish. – Cornel West
A.D.'s stunning panels retell the harrowing experience of what it was like to live through the disaster. – Rolling Stone
Raw and painful, down to the detailed depictions of ruined homes and the frenzied dialogue among friends. – Newsweek
Referring to A.D. as a ‘comic book' is a bit like calling Schindler's List a ‘talkie.' – Los Angeles Times
 A.D. is a sterling example of comics with a social consciousness, and is exactly the kind of thing we need to keep the human dimension of this unimaginable disaster and its ongoing aftermath in the public eye. – Wired.com

As beautiful as it is poignant, A.D. presents a city in chaos and shines a bright, profoundly human light on the tragedies and triumphs that took place within it. Here is a stunning graphic novel, with stirring images, and, to quote Dan Baum, author of Nine Lives, “dead-honest dialogue,” which “brought it all back in a way that made me feel it in my gut.”

Business & Investing / Banking / History / Americas / True Crime

King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America by J. North Conway (The Lyons Press)

The American economy is collapsing. Corporate CEOs earn millions while the rest of the country can barely survive. One man nearly cripples the economy. Sound familiar? It all happened in 1878 in New York City during the Gilded Age.

King of Heists is an account of the greatest bank robbery in American history, which took place on October 27 when thieves broke into the Manhattan Savings Institution and stole nearly $3 million in cash and securities – around $50 million in today’s terms. J. North Conway, former newspaper and magazine editor, English teacher at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth and Bristol Community College in Fall River, tells the story of those who plotted and carried out this infamous robbery, how they did it, and how they were tracked down and captured. 

The robbery was planned to the minutest detail by criminal mastermind George Leonidas Leslie – a society architect and ladies’ man whose double life as the nation’s most prolific bank robber led him to be dubbed the ‘King of the Bank Robbers.’ The New York Times proclaimed the 1878 heist ‘the most sensational in the history of bank robberies in this country.’ Leslie was responsible for more than 80 percent of all the bank robberies in America from 1869 through 1878. Despite his reputation, he was never caught and never spent a day in jail.

King of Heists is about the Manhattan Savings Institution robbery and two other legendary heists – each a record-setting event. Set against the dichotomy between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless, the haves and have-nots, King of Heists is intertwined with a host of memorable real-life characters, including:

  • Fredericka ‘Marm’ Mandelbaum, the queen of New York City's criminals.
  • John D. Rockefeller, president of Standard Oil.
  • John Roebling, who undertook a quest to build the greatest bridge in the world – The Brooklyn Bridge.
  • ‘Jubilee’ Jim Fisk, the man responsible for the ‘Black Friday’ stock market crash in 1869, and his showgirl mistress Josie Mansfield.
  • Boss Tweed, the corrupt head of New York City's political machine.

Conway (American Literacy) relates the engrossing tale of the greatest bank robbery in American history. … Conway skillfully paints a backdrop of fierce and flamboyant personalities who paraded across the Gilded Age…. The author overstates his claim to be following in John Dos Passos's footsteps in quoting real newspaper headlines and stories of the period as well as song lyrics, but he capably recounts his story against a background of glitter and greed. – Publishers Weekly
King of Heists, by J. North Conway, is a page-turning account of one of the most brazen crimes of its time. – Reader's Digest (Top 5 summer book pick)

Conway's King of Heists is an absorbing tale of greed, sex, crime, betrayal, and murder that brings the Gilded Age and its colorful characters to life. Conway blends the richness of history with the thrills of fiction and gives a spellbinding account of the greatest bank robbery in American history.

Business & Investing / Economics / Social Sciences

$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better by Christopher Steiner (Grand Central Publishing)
In the not-too-distant future – whether we like it or not – the price of gasoline will begin a rise that will continue for decades. It will increase so much, in fact, that many aspects of our everyday lives will be dramat­ically altered – and altered in ways that most of us wouldn't necessarily anticipate.

Weaning ourselves from gasoline isn't a scary thing, it's an exciting thing. We're talking about cleaner environments, more walkable lives, better public transportation and more vibrant cities. For example, can readers envision a future where we travel by train, not by plane? A future without garbage trucks? One where today's distant suburbs gradually become ghost towns? Where outsourced jobs come back to America? Where Wal-Mart goes out of business? And the same for Disney World? A future where sushi disappears from most places? A future with local produce rather than homogenized mega-farm vegetables?

In $20 Per Gallon, Christopher Steiner, engineer-turned-journalist, senior writer for Forbes magazine, explains how the simple but constant rise in oil and gas prices will change lifestyles, but not necessarily for the worse. $20 Per Gallon profiles research that connects cheap oil to America's obesity rate and to the daunting numbers of people that die on our roadways. As the price of gas goes up to, say, $6, we'll save more than $30 billion on obesity-related diseases, 10,000 fewer people will die in car crashes and thousands of people will be spared heart attack deaths related to air pollution. Those effects will only be magnified as the price of gas rises further. And that's just a sampling of the benefits.

Steiner in an interview says, “I don't think people realize how close our airline industry is to an all-out collapse. The book details a massive airline extinction at $8 per gallon, and in fact, serious change could take place even before then. It's certainly not something that should be celebrated, but the collapse of that industry will open the door to new ones, such as widespread high-speed trains in America, a phenomenon that won't take serious root until plane tickets become luxuries rather than conveniences.

According to Steiner, America has lost much of its manufacturing mojo during the last 20 years. A green revolution, fueled by a search for alternative energies and technologies, could change that. Not only will there be a need to produce things such as solar panels, electric cars, and new city infrastructure, but the power of globalization will be blunted by higher gasoline prices. The advantages of, say, making a computer in China decrease as the cost of fuel increases and the cost of transporting things all over the earth rises – that will lead to manufacturing jobs returning here, to home soil.

The innovation game is one that many people anticipate as oil's grip on the world ebbs. New technologies will be needed in all arenas that oil touches, including cars, trains, our homes, the plastic we use and the roads we drive on – and those are just a few examples. The opportunities for inventors in a world with less oil will be prolific.

People who will do the least amount of adjusting in the future are those who already live more sustainable lives. Where one lives largely determines how they live. Buying solar panels for a house at the far edge of the suburbs, for instance, won't alter how the future affects readers. Moving to a walkable neighborhood where groceries, their kids' schools, the office or a train are all within several blocks – that's a change they will profit from and a place where the future will be kinder.

With chapters that reflect how the world will drastically change at a given price of gasoline (Chapter $6, Chapter $8, etc.), $20 Per Gallon heralds good news. Ultimately, this phenomenon will make the world simpler, safer, more family-friendly, and, in general, feature a healthier way of living. Based on the latest scientific research as well as interviews with top experts in energy, urban planning, farming, and transportation, this book presents an exciting and reassuring picture of the future.

… While many changes will come at tremendous social and economic cost, Steiner envisions a better future, where human ingenuity will spur greater efficiency and less waste. Although it's unlikely all the author's predictions will come true – he goes so far as to forecast the order in which airlines will go out of business – the surprising snapshots of the future (where rising gas prices might revitalize Detroit) make for vivid and compelling reading. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

… As Chris Steiner shows, the time to wake up is now, not only to prepare for some real changes, but to look around the corner toward the historic opportunities this will present. – Peter Senge, bestselling author of The Fifth Discipline and The Necessary Revolution

… Steiner brings to life a future with higher energy prices using tangible examples of the issues and solutions. The good news is that this rise in prices may finally drive us to do things that make our lives and the environment much better. This book is definitely worth the ten or twenty bucks you will pay for a gallon of gas in the future. – Eric Spiegel, Senior Vice President and managing partner for Global Energy, Booz & Company, author of Energy Shift

Steiner's book is a stunning, detailed vision of the world we're about to live in. It's shocking in its grounded examination of the civilization that cheap gas built – and why it's not going to last. – Alexis Madrigal, lead writer for Wired.Com's "Wired Science" Blog

This book makes me look forward to paying $20 a gallon, knowing how our lives will change. Christopher Steiner's counterintuitive assay of the rising cost of gas is intriguing, thoughtful, and provocative. It's a compellingly written, detailed look at a very likely scenario, richly reported and finely crafted. Kudos to Steiner for the foresight in showing us what's ahead. – Marcel Pacatte, former managing editor of Discover Magazine

$20 Per Gallon presents a startling, exciting and yet reassuring picture of the future. The path to it will be an amazing journey – a journey that may soon be upon us. Readers gain an appreciation for the kind of change that lies behind the growing price of gas and are prepared for the changing world that awaits us.

Business & Investing / Education

The Mentee's Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You by Lois J. Zachary, with Lory A. Fischler (Jossey-Bass)

My personal mentoring stories are many. I marvel at how my mentors raised the bar for me, modeled the way, pushed me beyond my personally defined limits, encouraged me to enlarge my thinking, and believed in me even when I was unsure of myself. I was grateful for their time, their stories, and their commitment to my growth. I recall one mentor in particular who always seemed to open doors of possibility for me. She saw something in me I didn't see in myself. … Before I knew it, I had developed competencies that I'd never imagined. Another mentor stood alongside me as I took on a major leadership role in my community. He was there to support me, help me through the political minefields, and make sure I kept the big picture at the forefront of my thinking. – from the book

It is often up to the individual to navigate the unfamiliar waters of mentoring. Where should one begin? A new book by renowned mentoring expert Lois J. Zachary, president of Leadership Development Services and her co-author Lory A. Fischler, senior associate at that company, is a good starting-point. This book joins Zachary's acclaimed previous two volumes, A Mentor's Guide and Creating a Mentoring Culture.

The Mentee's Guide is an invitation to mentees to exercise their voices with full resonance and not to settle for anything less than what they need. Whether they are just starting out in their career, seeking personal or professional development, transitioning to new responsibilities, retiring or re-careering, the book guides readers through all four phases of being a mentee and provides answers to frequently asked questions about how to make the most of a mentoring relationship, while providing strategies for success. By encouraging a focus on goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timely), the authors help mentees get more out of their mentoring relationships.

Zachary and Fischler interviewed over 30 people of different ages from an array of settings – corporate, educational, nonprofit, and small business – to get on-the-ground candid stories and dig into the day-to-day realities of a mentoring relationship, with all its exhilarations and frustrations. The stories in The Mentee's Guide are based on those interviews, as well as on the experiences of individuals in a variety of settings over the years. They answer common mentee questions including:

  • Is mentoring for me?
  • How could a mentor help me?
  • How do I find the right mentor?
  • What should the first conversation be like?
  • How do I make sure the relationship gets started on the right foot? s How do I keep the relationship on track?
  • How do I maximize my learning?
  • How do I get the feedback I need?

By defining mentoring as a relationship, breaking it down into distinct parts, and identifying specific aspects that are associated with effective mentoring, this new book provides flexible but direct guidance to support mentees and other readers in their quests to learn and find new insights and awareness.

This guide goes beyond simply establishing a framework for a successful mentoring experience and providing some helpful 'how tos.' It is a compendium of virtually everything we know on making a mentoring relationship or program successful. – F. Richard Lennon, vice president and chief information officer, Nordstrom, Inc.
The Mentee's Guide inspires and guides the potential mentee, provides new insights for an adventure in learning that lies ahead, and underscores my personal belief and experience that mentoring is circular. The mentor gains as much as the mentee in this evocative relationship. Lois Zachary’s new book is a great gift. – Frances Hesselbein, chairman and founding president, Leader to Leader Institute

Whether you are the mentee or mentor, born or made for the role, you will gain much more from the relationship by practicing the fun and easy, A-to-Z principles of The Mentee's Guide by the master of excellence, Lois Zachary. – Ken Shelton, editor, Leadership Excellence

With this deeply practical book filled with stories and useful exercises, Lois Zachary completes her ground-breaking trilogy on mentoring. Must-reading for those in search of a richer understanding of this deeply human relationship as well as anyone seeking a mentor, whether for new skills, job advancement, or deeper wisdom. – Laurent A. Parks Daloz, senior fellow, The Whidbey Institute, and author, Mentor: Guiding the Journey of Adult Learners

Lois Zachary understands the essence of mentoring. Her new book, written with her associate, Lory Fischler, is another great tool for me as a leader, working with mentoring every day, always looking to make the relationships more effective. Successful mentoring is not about a cup of coffee now and then; it is a real, committed relationship with clear expectations on both sides. – Pernille Lopez, president, IKEA US

This easy-to-read, highly practical and reliable book teaches lessons that lead to successful mentoring in cross-cultural and international environments. – Eric Ng, president, ESSN International Pte Ltd, Training & Consultancy Services

Although there are many books for mentors, there are fewer for mentees and even fewer that focus specifically on empowering mentees to take an active, creative, and self-authored role in their own mentoring relationships. The Mentee's Guide fills that gap. Not only a book chock full of stories, practical tools, tips, and exercises, the book is also an invitation to learning. Zachary guides readers through the process step by step, offering straightforward and practical exercises so they can choose what works best for where they are now and where they want to go. Practical and useful, The Mentee's Guide practices what it preaches. It helps readers make excellence in their mentoring relationship a personal priority and be more reflective about their own role in that relationship.

Business & Investing / Engineering / Civil / History / Earth Sciences

Ores to Metals: The Rocky Mountain Smelting Industry by James Fell Jr. (A Timberline Book: University Press of Colorado)

This comprehensive treatment of the smelting industry of Colorado, originally published in 1979, is now back in print with a new preface by the author. Packed with statistics and mining data, Ores to Metals details the people, technologies, and business decisions that have shaped the smelting industry in the Rockies.

Although mining holds more of the glamour for those in and interested in the minerals industry, smelters have continuously played a critical role in the industry's evolution since their introduction in Colorado in the 1860s. At that time, miners desperately needed new technology to recover gold and silver from ores resistant to milling. Beginning as small independent enterprises, progressing to larger integrated firms working in urban centers, and finally following a trend toward mergers, the entire industry was absorbed into one large holding company – the American Smelting and Refining Company. Over time, fortunes were won and lost, business success was converted to political success, and advances were made in science and metallurgy.
As told by James E. Fell Jr., professor at the University of Colorado, Ores to Metals originated through a change in career. Fell ma­jored in chemistry as an undergraduate and later worked as a chemist for Eastman Kodak. While working for Kodak, he took sev­eral night courses at the University of Rochester, and found that his interest in history superseded his interest in chemistry. When he entered the University of Colorado at Boulder, he wanted to use both his background in chemistry and his industrial experience as the basis for his study in his­tory. When his major professor suggested the smelting industry as a possible thesis and dissertation topic, he had found his calling and spent his gradu­ate career researching the industry's evolution and develop­ment.

For most Americans, one of two myths of the West prevails, either the six-gun version with gunfights at high noon or the vision of the West developed by a large agriculture wave sweeping across the land. Ores to Metals reflects neither of those views.

What drove the settlement and resettlement of the American West in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was the industrial revolution, both directly and indirectly, and the minerals indus­try in the region formed an inherent part of that development. The surge of agriculture in the region stemmed largely from the rise of industry. Miners in the West, along with workers in the growing industrial cities of the East and even in Europe, did not grow their own food. It was precisely their needs and demands that spurred the powerful advance of commercial farming and ranching in the West, provided the machines and the trans­portation systems essential for development, and so created a powerful population surge into a sparsely settled region in the later nineteenth century.

Ores to Metals explores one aspect of this industrialization. The smelting industry in the Rocky Mountains reflected the larger contours of industrial growth in the later nineteenth century. It tapped European technology, mobilized capital, and created a large labor force to reduce the ores mined throughout the region and sometimes beyond. It grew from a large number of small processors with little control over prices and markets to a small number of large processors who sought to control those prices and markets. The industry found itself buffeted by the larger economic booms and busts of the era, and in the great nationwide merger movement at century's end, most of its large enterprises became part of one dominant company with global impact, an enterprise that lasted a bit more than a century as an independent concern. There were ethnic groups in the plants, smelter towns and neighborhoods; and ethnic strife in those communities. There were unions, strikes, and settlements, all part of the labor/management strife of the era. And the industry's most successful entrepreneurs eventually established important philanthropies based on their business successes.

As described by Fell in Ores to Metals, because the mines of Colorado lay in the heart of the great western mineral empire, it was no coincidence that the smel­ters built in the Rocky Mountains formed the center of the industry. The first plants appeared in the midst of the crisis that devastated the mining business during the 1860s. They smelted ores drawn from local mines. As large interregional ore shipments became possible, the industry concentrated its work in four cities – Denver, Pueblo, Leadville, and Durango. From here the smelters tapped mines as far north as Canada, as far west as California, and as far south as Mexico. A trend toward mergers developed within the industry, and once underway, consolida­tion continued until nearly all the independent enterprises were absorbed by the American Smelting and Refining Com­pany. At the time of its inception this firm had one half of its reduction capacity in Colorado and drew its primary management from men connected with the industry there. Yet by World War I the collapse of the traditional mining industry had a devastating affect on ASARCO. The company survived, but its plants in the region did not.

Despite the critical part the smelters played in the minerals industry, the number of books and articles written about the production of ores overwhelms the number written about the reduction of ores to metals. An oversight, perhaps, but the mines vastly outnumbered the smelters and had a glamour, an aura of wealth that gleamed in its own time and continues through the years. Yet ore reduction formed an integral, if less glamorous, part of the minerals industry. Fortunes were won and lost, some men converted success in business to success in politics, and many made important contributions to the advance of science and metallurgy.

All this is now past. The smelting industry has left behind rel­atively few marks of its role in the development of the West – a chimney here, a ruin there, and an occasional glistening slag pile often misidentified as coal, but not much else. Some mining towns have turned themselves into ski centers – and hide from their past. Transportation and distribution centers commemorate their history with statues of cowboys who nev­er road into town. And modern miners keep a low profile to thwart assaults on their interests. The myth of the West predominates in a region once brought into being by metals that have no place in that myth. We can enjoy the myth for what it is, or fear it for what it is not, but in Ores to Metals, along with many other books on the minerals industry, we have a lens through which to glimpse, study, focus, and even enjoy the history of a very different, sub­stantially forgotten past that contributed in a powerful way to the development of the region and the nation.

Drawing on archival material, Fell expertly presents the triumphs and troubles of the entrepreneurs who built one of the great industries of the West. This was an industry that has long needed a comprehensive history and Ores to Metals provides it.

Business & Investing / Industries & Professions / Entertainment / Biographies & Memoirs

Dillerland: The Story of Media Mogul Barry Diller by Jerome Tuccille (Alyson Books)

With his recent acquisition of Ask Jeeves, Barry Diller is poised to cement his place as an Internet mogul – just one more accomplishment for a highly driven man.

In Dillerland bestselling author Jerome Tuccille tells for the first time the story of the visionary yet tenacious man who revolutionized the entertainment industry over the course of the past forty years. After starting out in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency in the 1960s, Diller joined ABC Television where his swift rise through the ranks earned him almost immediate recognition and chairmanship of Paramount Pictures. There he oversaw such film classics as Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, as well as the TV shows Laverne & Shirley and Taxi.

However, as told in Dillerland, Diller made his most indelible mark on the industry when in 1987 he formed Fox TV, which went head to head with the existing networks by programming innovative series such as The Simpsons, Married ... With Children, and In Living Color. Since then Diller has continued to grab headlines, most notably with his acquisition of QVC, his volatile and failed battle to buy Paramount Pictures, and later his marriage to fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg. Among the dozens of celebrities and media tycoons we meet along the way are Calvin Klein, Andy Warhol, John Travolta, Warren Beatty, David Geffen, Rupert Murdoch, Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Ted Turner, Robert Evans, and Joan Rivers.

What makes Barry Diller so impressive, according to Tuccille, is not just all that he has accomplished, but the fact the he did it his way. Never one to succumb to social pressures, Diller has been as liberal and open-minded in his socializing – to the point of being dubbed a member of the Velvet Mafia – as he has been conservative in his financial dealings.

Dillerland is the extraordinary story of the executive who revolutionized the entertainment industry. The author, Tuccille, has authored of more than twenty books, is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Investment Services, and has taught at the New School of Social Research in New York City.

Business & Investing / Small Business & Entrepreneurship / Law

Taxpertise: The Complete Book of Dirty Little Secrets and Tax Deductions for Small Businesses the IRS Doesn't Want You to Know by Bonnie Lee (Entrepreneur Press)

Every day, thousands of people shake off the golden handcuffs and become self-employed. There's not much in our formal educational system that prepares the budding entrepreneur for this challenge. Readers can study business in college and earn an MBA, but that is theory, not real life.

Taxpayer champion Bonnie Lee puts the IRS under the microscope in Taxpertise. She reveals proven methods and simple strategies to minimize taxable income, maximize deductions, and, ultimately, add thousands back to the business bottom line. The book is organized around the needs of readers, for example, those with huge tax debts and those with exposure to IRS audits. Readers learn guidelines regarding these topics among others:

  • The formula the IRS uses to determine an acceptable offer.
  • Saving tax dollars by reorganizing their workspace.
  • Fixing errors on their balance sheets.
  • Which meal expenses are 100 % deductible.
  • Deducting losses for a hobby they are turning into a bona fide business.
  • Whether their home office is a red flag.
  • Whether they have to pay taxes on Grandma’s house they inherited.
  • Whether they can write off clothing.
  • ‘Audit speak’ to deal effectively with the IRS.

Lee, an Enrolled Agent – that is, a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service for audits, collections, and appeals – represents taxpayers in audits, offers in compromise, tax problem resolution; and helping non-filers safely reenter the system.

Over the years, as told in Taxpertise, Lee says she has seen a number of businesses succeed and a number of businesses fail. Being along for the ride has given her the opportunity to evaluate what happened, especially to the ones that failed. In most cases, the owners knew everything about the products or serv­ices they offered. They had prior experience when they worked as em­ployees. They were thinking, "What the hell, if he can do it, so can I, right? And I get to keep the profits. Yeah!" Unfortunately, she says, there is more to it than that.

A small-business owner must act as purchasing agent, salesperson, manager, customer relations liaison, inspector, administrator, and bookkeeper. However, the first duty most business owners job out is bookkeeping and taxes. But, Lee says, it is imperative to understand where the business stands financially and where it is going. Readers need to comprehend the importance of the num­bers they generate. They need to be able to project and know how big a bite Uncle Sam will take. Financial planning is one of the most important areas of the business plan. To produce widgets, they need X num­ber of dollars. They get the money together and go into production. Keeping proper records allows them to review their progress with accuracy. Did it cost what they anticipated to produce a thousand widgets? Or did it cost more or less? Were there costs above and beyond what was planned for? Is it necessary to raise the price of widgets? Or can the price be safely lowered and generate greater sales volume and greater profits? Did they select the right legal form so they can take advantage of fringe benefits or did they select one that is cumbersome? Are the taxes killing them? In order to make these necessary analyses, an accu­rate set of records is mandatory. And knowing what the numbers mean and what to anticipate is even more important.

According to Lee, business owners do not have time to become CPAs or tax specialists, but they really need some organizational skills, procedures, formats, and knowledge of the rules. They need to know how to prepare their work for their accountant so that their accountant can compile their financial statements and tax returns for them at the least expensive fee. They need to understand the significance of the numbers their business generates and they need to know the government's rules. They also need to understand the inner workings of the tax system so they can make sound financial decisions and play the game with intelligence.

Taxpertise explains all these areas of ‘taxpertise’ in language readers can understand. The book should help small business folks sleep a little better at night. Sylvia Kahan (Author)

Children’s / People & Places

K is for Kabuki: A Japan Alphabet by Gloria Whelan & Jenny Nolan (Discover the World Series: Sleeping Bear Press)

0 is for Origami
A paper frog, a paper tree,
a paper sunflower just for me,
a paper fox, a paper shrew,
a paper tiger just for you. – from the book

Origami, judo, sushi ... with just a few words an immediate landscape is conjured: the country of Japan. In K is for Kabuki, young readers are invited to travel to faraway Japan and explore its rich history, traditions, and role in today's world.

What is Japan's national dog? What weaponless form of fighting means ‘softness?’ And what does it mean to be a samurai?

Continuing their around the world tour, K is for Kabuki is the most recent addition to Sleeping Bear’s Discover the World series. The book is written by Gloria Whelan, poet and the award-winning author of many children's books, and Jennifer Nolan, a librarian who has worked for The New Yorker and Rolling Stone magazines, at public and university libraries, and also as a researcher for investigative reporters. Illustrated by award-winning author and illustrator, Oki S. Han, the book celebrates the history, culture, contributions that have shaped Japan and its role in the world today.

A glossary of Japanese words, including phonetic spellings, is provided at the back of the book.

Written in the 2-tiered, non-fiction format, the poetry in K is for Kabuki introduces young readers to the topic while expository sidebar text provides additional detail for older readers. This book, a fictional partner to Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers, is also a part of the Tales of the World series.

Www.discovertheworldbooks.com, a new interactive website for kids, families and educators, features both Discover the World and Tales of the World titles. The site includes games, recipes, travel tips, history, cultural links, and more!

From the comic relief of Kyogen theater to the meditative powers of a Zen garden, K is for Kabuki brings the past, present, and pageantry of Japan to life. Evocative artwork captures the spirit of each letter topic's poem and expository text.

Entertainment / Music / History & Criticism / Biographies & Memoirs

In Search of New Scales: Prince Edmond de Polignac, Octatonic Explorer by Sylvia Kahan (Eastman Studies in Music Series: University of Rochester Press)

In 1879, French amateur composer Edmond de Polignac (1834-1901) painstakingly devised a new way to create melodies and harmonies using a scale that alternated half and whole steps. This scale – known today as octatonic – was an important element in the music of Liszt and Rimsky-Korsakov, and would later figure prominently in the works of Ravel, Stravinsky, and many others. Sylvia Kahan, professor of music at the Graduate Center and College of Staten Island, City University of New York, author of Music's Modern Muse: A Life of Winnaretta Singer, Princesse de Polignac, in In Search of New Scales publishes the Prince's octatonic treatise for the first time – in both the original French and in English translation – and comments extensively on what the treatise, and the Prince's little-known compositions, reveal about musical thought in late nineteenth-century Paris.

Given his aristocratic lineage, Polignac might seem an unlikely precursor of musical modernism, yet he was known as an advocate of ‘advanced ideas.’ Late in life, he married wealthy heiress Winnaretta Singer, who sponsored prestigious public concerts of her husband's bold works, interpreted by the greatest musical artists in Paris. Debussy and Fauré were admirers of Polignac's music, especially the 1879 octatonic oratorio Pilate livre le Christ (Pontius Pilate Hands Christ Over). Marcel Proust lauded his compositions and the ‘essence of genius of their author.’ In Search of New Scales is based on bibliographic material in private archives, as well as letters and other documents in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

It was less than fifty years ago, in 1963, that composer and theorist Arthur Berger's article, "Problems of Pitch Organization in Stravinsky," was published in the journal Perspectives of New Music. This landmark scholarly essay reveals a fundamental organizational device underlying the pitch structure of extensive passages in works such as Petrouchka, Le Sacre du printemps, and Les Nores: a series of eight alternating half steps and whole steps, which Berger dubs, for the first time, ‘the octatonic scale.’ Berger identifies a number of characteristic features of the scale: its symmetrical structure, its bisection at the tritone, its emphasis on minor third relations, its construction from two diminished seventh chords a semitone apart, and interaction with diatonic elements.

Since 1963, scholars have continued to shed light on the functional and for­mal uses of the octatonic scale, also referred to in post-tonal music theory as the octatonic collection. Pieter van den Toorn demonstrates the pervasive use of the octatonic collection in over forty of Stravinsky's works and creates a vocab­ulary to account for harmonic and structural events within an octatonic framework; Richard Taruskin systematically traces the genesis of the scale back first to Schubert, then to Liszt, and finally to a large number of Russian composers, prin­cipal among whom was Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Today, the post-Berger generations of scholars have unearthed the scale in music ranging from Weber to Webern. Several studies in the last two decades have focused on the role of octatonicism in French music, especially that of Debussy and Messiaen, and, most recently, that of Ravel. The octatonic col­lection is now widely regarded as one of the principal organizational devices of twentieth-century music.

However, while theory often lags behind practice, the lag between the use of the octatonic collection in composition and its articulation in theory seems to have been particularly long. The fact that Rimsky-Korsakov never wrote down in any systematic way the theory underlying the scale that bore his name – as he did, however, when he codified his theories of orchestration – meant that its presence in early modernist compositions, although used frequently and conspicuously by his followers, remained obscure to those outside his circle. Who, Kahan asks, before Stravinsky, was the first composer to write ‘truly’ octatonic music?

According to Kahan, an important historical link between nineteenth- and twentieth-century octatonic composition – a link with particular implications for the presence of octatonicism in early modernist French music – is found in the music and theoretical writings of Prince Edmond de Polignac (1834-1901), an aristocrat and amateur French composer who, around 1879, penned not only the first pervasively octatonic compositions, but also what appears to be the first treatise on octatonic theory.

In Search of New Scales is written in two parts. Part one is at once a biography of Edmond de Polignac and a history of Polignac's invention of the octatonic scales. It provides an overview of the social and cultural forces at play at the time of Polignac's invention, an examination of the reception given Polignac's octatonic music and theories by late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French musicians, and an analysis of Polignac's octatonic compositions. Part two contains a preface to the composer's octatonic treatise-sketchbook; a complete transcription and analysis of his octatonic treatise, "Etude sur les successions alternantes de tons et demi-tons" (A Study on the Alternating Sequences of Whole Steps and Half Steps), the text of which is given in English translation with transcriptions of the music by David Smey; and a transcription of the treatise's original French text, without the music.

The organization of the material in In Search of New Scales, a mélange of biography, history, and theory, is somewhat unorthodox; however, it reflects both Kahan’s belief that Polignac's interesting life and creative/theoretical work are all of a piece and her hope that a cross-disciplinary approach to this material will be useful to music scholars in both the musicological and theoretical domains. While Polignac may be a minor figure in music history, and while the influence of his octatonic music on his contemporaries can only be speculated upon, his life and octa­tonic explorations might serve as exemplars for an examination of music in Sec­ond-Empire France and the place that interest in new and ‘alternative’ scales occupied in that particular cultural moment. In this study, Polignac's remarkable invention of octatonicism is posited as both a reflection of the aesthetic ideas, musical developments, and theoretical discussions swirling around him in Belle-Époque Paris and as a precursor of things to come – when Parisians were introduced to Stravinsky's ground-breaking music – more than thirty years later. An entire chapter is devoted to the years 1875-79, the period during which Polignac embarked on his octatonic explorations and wrote his first composi­tions based on the octatonic collection. The year 1878 [also the year of the NY heist – see first book review], during which time Paris hosted a World's Fair, is singled out as an exceptionally fertile breeding period for new and unusual ideas. Here the discussion of the influences on Polignac's octatonic invention is limited mostly to musical influences. A more in-depth study of this amazing period – one that might include lengthier discussions of the social, political, and artistic upheavals in play, as well as the influence of Sym­bolist and Decadent literary figures such as Huysmans, Mallarme, Verlaine, and Moreau – must be left to another scholar.

Kahan says it is not her intention to use In Search of New Scales as a defense of Polignac as an ‘unjustly neglected composer’ – although some of the tonal music (the music for string quartet and some of the vocal and choral music), all discussed only briefly in this study, might justify the appellation. The octatonic music itself is, regrettably, not much more than a historical curiosity. Nonetheless, the thor­ough analyses offered in this study demonstrate interesting parallels between Polignac's octatonic compositions and the octatonic works that both precede and follow them by greater composers.

As a theoretical study, In Search of New Scales provides a link between Rimsky-Korsakov's first foray into octatonic writing, in 1867, and late nineteenth-century octatonicism. Readers conversant with the pedagogical writings of Rimsky-Korsakov, or with Richard Taruskin's studies and transcriptions of these materials, will rec­ognize in some of Polignac's examples an uncanny resemblance to the conclud­ing section of Rimsky-Korsakov's harmony textbook. A comparison of the similar exercises and chord progressions of the two men demonstrates clearly Rimsky's superior­ity as both a composer and a pedagogue: the progressions in the musical exam­ples of Polignac treatise are obviously weaker and the voicings and voice leading less skillful than those of the Russian. But Rimsky's students are able to discover the complete whole step/half step scale only if they com­plete the exercises, whereas Polignac's treatise overtly exposes basic principles of octatonic procedures. And, it is likely that Polignac's work predates that of Rimsky: the first edition of the latter's harmony textbook was not published until the mid-1880s.

Kahan has discovered a remarkable missing link between the intervallic and scalar experiments of late-nineteenth-century composers and the full-blown octatonicism of twentieth-century modernists, including Ravel and Stravinsky. In a compelling amalgam of biography, history, music theory, and cultural studies. Kahan introduces the fascinating world of Edmond de Polignac, and provides a valuable translation of his eccentric and subtly influential treatise on the octatonic scale. – Joseph N. Straus, author of Stravinsky's Late Music and Remaking the Past: Musical Modernism and the Influence of the Tonal Tradition

A. charming tale of a gentleman composer and his invention of the 'chromatico-diatonic' scale. Kahan's elegant transcription and translation . . . brings to light a new document important not only for the history of music theory but also for a 'richer understanding of musical modernism in fin-de-siecle Paris.' – Jonathan Cross, professor of musicology, University of Oxford

In regard to current octatonic theory, In Search of New Scales may prove useful in discussions of terminology associated with the collection. The perspective of one obscure nineteenth-century musician will help shed light on the subject of the history of octatonicism and provide some clarity. Kahan's book will become a permanent point of reference for future studies of post-Romantic and twentieth-century composition.

Entertainment / Sports / Social Change / Middle East

However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, and a Journey Home by Awista Ayub (Hyperion)

A ball can start a revolution.

In 1981, when she was just two years old, Awista Ayub and her family fled upheaval and violence in Afghanistan to settle in the United States. They maintained a strong cultural connection with their home country through language, customs, and traditional food. Meanwhile, Ayub thrived in her new home, Connecticut, in part thanks to organized athletics. After the fall of the Taliban, she was inspired in 2003 to create the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange (AYSE), a program designed to nurture, empower, and teach leadership skills to Afghan girls. This is the story Ayub tells in However Tall the Mountain.

Ayub chose soccer because little more than a ball and a field is needed to play; however, the courage it would take for girls in Afghanistan to do this would have to be tremendous – and the social change it could bring about by making a loud and clear statement for Afghan women was enough to convince Ayub that it was possible, and even necessary.

Under Taliban rule, girls in Afghanistan couldn't play outside of their homes, let alone participate in a sport on a team. So, Ayub brought eight girls from Afghanistan to the United States for a soccer clinic, in the hope of not only teaching them the sport, but also instilling confidence and a belief in their self-worth. Against all odds and fear, these girls decided to come together and play a sport that has reintroduced the very traits that decades of war had cruelly stripped away from them.

They returned to Afghanistan and spread their interest in playing soccer; when Ayub traveled there to host another clinic, hundreds of girls turned out to participate – and the numbers of players and teams keep growing. What began with eight young women has now exploded into something of a phenomenon. Fifteen teams now compete in the Afghanistan Football Federation, with hundreds of girls participating.

In However Tall the Mountain, Ayub tells both her own story and the deeply moving stories of the eight original girls, describing their daily lives back in Afghanistan, and how they found strength in each other, in teamwork, and in themselves – taking impossible risks to obtain freedoms we take for granted. Throughout the story, she intertwines accounts of the girls' lives at home in Afghanistan, including their struggles with personal freedom and the consequences of the choices they make that conflict with Afghan culture.

This is a story about hope, about what home is, and in the end, about determination. As the Afghan proverb says, “However tall the mountain, there's always a road.”
After founding the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange in 2003, from February 2005 to January 2007, Awista served as the Education and Health Officer at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC.

Now the girls even play at Ghazi Stadium in Kabul, which once served as the place where the Taliban carried out executions of women who violated even the most inconsequential laws. The country is not without current struggles and women's rights are far from protected, but However Tall the Mountain gives hope to women finding courage and strength in one another and in themselves.

In 2006 I was at home watching the ESPY Awards when two young women from Afghanistan were honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. I was moved to tears and knew immediately that these brave women needed to tell their stories. By facing extraordinary obstacles and even life-threatening danger – just by playing a sport that we take for granted – they came together to play soccer and in the process they have brought about change in a country where a woman's very identity has been brutally stripped away. – Gretchen Young
The young Afghan women in However Tall the Mountain are pioneers. Their story is one of resilience and courage. This book is a testament to the power of hope and the will to dream in a country where so many dreams have been cut short. – Khaled Hosseini, bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns

Awista Ayub has movingly captured the indomitable spirit of Afghan women in this chronicle of brave girls who risked persecution and worse to pursue the dreams of ordinary childhood. In doing what they love most in life – playing soccer – the girls become emblems of the fight for equality and human rights under the Taliban. Their story reminds us that there is always hope and possibility for a brighter future – even in the wreckage left by war and conflict. – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

This book is a testament to the critical importance across cultures of nurturing girls' potential and dreams. – Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund

Readers will thank Awista Ayub for her determination to deepen the understanding between the two countries she calls home. – Madison Smartt Bell

However Tall the Mountain reveals the ways in which youth culture in Afghanistan is challenging traditional gender roles and transforming the role of women in the Middle East. This story of courage, inspiring and moving, shows the spirit of the girls shining through and gives readers hope for the future of the women in this culture.

History / Americas / Social Sciences / Sociology / Civil Rights / African Americans

Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement by Patricia Sullivan (New Press)

This summer, America's oldest civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), celebrates the centennial anniversary of its founding. President Obama will address the convention, which takes place July 11-16th in New York City.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP got its start as an elite organization dominated by white reformers at a time when segregation had triumphed in the South and the color line was tightening its hold in the North. By the end of World War I, the NAACP had become a mass-black membership organization reaching from Boston to Los Angeles and into the Mississippi Delta; after World War II, it had become synonymous with the freedom movement itself. For one hundred years, the NAACP has boldly been at the vanguard of creating a more just America.

Ten years in the making, Lift Every Voice is the first major history of the NAACP. Historian Patricia Sullivan unearths the little-known early decades of the NAACP's activism, telling stories of personal bravery, legal brilliance, and political maneuvering by the likes of W.E.B. Du Bois, Mary White Ovington, Walter White, Charles Houston, Ella Baker, Thurgood Marshall, and Roy Wilkins. The book then moves into the critical postwar era, when, with a string of legal victories culminating in Brown v. Board, the NAACP knocked out the legal underpinnings of the segregation system and set the stage for the final assault on Jim Crow.

Sullivan teaches history at the University of South Carolina and is a fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. She has spent over ten years researching early files and sifting through archives to develop a complete portrait of how the NAACP came to be and how it changed America.

A sweeping and dramatic story woven deep into the fabric of American history,

Lift Every Voice reminds us of the brutality and terror that dominated race relations for most of the twentieth century and what it took to change that – a monumental and courageous effort across several generations by men and women, most unknown and unheralded. It offers a timeless lesson on how people without access to the traditional levers of power can create change under seemingly impossible odds.

A remarkable achievement. The heroes and heroines are all there, the pace is fast, and the level of emotion is truly high. Dr. Sullivan has achieved for the NAACP centennial and for all of us an exciting account of its life. – John Hope Franklin, Duke University

Reads like a civil-rights Hall of Fame. An overdue tribute to the organization most responsible for dismantling American apartheid. – Kirkus

Lift Every Voice is nothing less than a paradigm-shifting account of the American struggle for freedom and equality. It's a story that runs deeper than the civil rights movement and examines a largely hidden past where a grassroots movement achieved what many people then assumed was impossible. One can hardly imagine a more relevant and necessary story for our own time. – Julian Bond, chairman of the board, NAACP
One reads Patricia Sullivan's comprehensive history of the hard-fought achievements of this nation's oldest extant civil rights organization with incredulity, consternation, and qualified optimism. Lift Every Voice should become indispensable reading. – David Levering Lewis, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning W.E.B. Du Bois

At long last, the nation's most important civil rights organization has the grand, sweeping history it deserves. Lift Every Voice is an engrossing, enlightening, absolutely essential book – a triumph. – Kevin Boyle, author of the National Book Award-winning Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age

Patricia Sullivan has given us a searching and vibrant history of the black freedom struggle's most consequential organization and the many brilliant and courageous people who steered its course. Lift Every Voice is a book worthy not only of the NAACP but of a century's reflection on it. – Steven Hahn, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Nation Under Our Feet

In The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois prophetically labeled the central challenge of the 20th century the problem of the color-line. Six years later, in 1909, he joined black and white civic leaders and activists to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the country's oldest civil rights organization. Rejecting Booker T. Washington's Southern-based economic uplift strategy, the NAACP – celebrating its centenary this year – favored Du Bois's emphasis on complete equality for African-Americans as guaranteed by the Constitution, joining the fight at a time of deepening racism throughout the U.S. Spurred on by Woodrow Wilson's segregationist policies, the young NAACP rapidly grew to a formidable nationwide, grassroots-driven endeavor, waging campaigns in public squares, law courts, legislatures and – with Du Bois helming its organ, the Crisis – the court of public opinion. Historian Sullivan (Days of Hope) delivers a solidly researched examination of the organization's growth and influence, leaving us with a vital account of 100 years of foundational civil rights activism. – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Lift Every Voice is a magnificent history of the nation's premier civil rights organization, published in conjunction with the NAACP centennial celebration and destined to be a classic in the field. Patricia Sullivan (Author)

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An epic narrative of struggle against injustice, the book lays a new foundation for understanding the modern civil rights movement.

A sweeping history that will change the way we view the Civil Rights Movement and help us understand the challenges still remaining, Lift Every Voice indelibly documents the NAACP's essential contribution in creating ‘a more perfect union.’

History / Military / Americas / Korean War

The US Army's First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950-1951 by Edward L. Posey (Savas Beatie)

Formed as part of an army that clung to racial segregation, despite a presidential directive to the contrary, the Buffalo Rangers helped make racial integration a reality. This is their story. – Bernard C. Nalty, author of Strength for the Fight: History of Black Americans in the Military

Nearly sixty years have passed since the Korean War slipped into the realm of history. With The US Army's First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers, the world now learns the true story of the United States Army's first, last, and only all-black Ranger unit.

The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) was that unit. The company's life span covered ten months, from selection and training through a seven-month combat deployment in Korea, after which the unit was deactivated. They were among the units initially assigned to the Eighth Army and were considered to be ‘combat ready.’

The 2d Ranger Company battled North Korean and Communist Chinese Forces near Tangyang, Majori-ri, and Chechon. The 2 d Ranger Company conducted the first airborne assault in Ranger history.

Edward L. Posey's The US Army's First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers is the first complete history of this elite all-volunteer unit whose members were drawn from the 3rd Battalion of the 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment and the 80th Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battalion. As a member of the unit, Posey bases his account on firsthand experience, official records, interviews with survivors, and other material to add to the growing literature on the Korean War. Posey's study explains the obstacles these men faced, their sacrifices, and their courageous actions on the far side of the world.

Master Sergeant (Ret) Posey joined the US Army in 1947. After serving with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment, he volunteered for airborne training with the Rangers in 1950 and served with distinction in the Korean War where he was wounded. Sergeant Posey retired from the service in 1969. In 2002, he was inducted in the Ranger Hall of Fame for his dedication to duty and distinguished military career.

After experiencing the normal travails of boot camp at Fort Benning, which segregation and racism only made worse, the all-black Rangers set out to join the Korean War in late 1950. On January 7, 1951, the Rangers found themselves defending a critical railroad running through Tanyang Pass, which Communist guerillas tried to infiltrate. The nighttime action triggered the Rangers' inaugural combat, which ended with the recommendation for a Bronze Star for gallantry for a Ranger sergeant. Additional combats with the North Korean and Communist Chinese forces erupted near Majori-ri and Chechon.

But the event that propelled the 2d Rangers into the record books was their airborne assault near Munsan-ni on March 23, 1951 – the first in Ranger history. Once on the ground, Posey and his comrades attacked and captured Hill 151. The fighting – often conducted at close quarters and occasionally with the bayonet – demonstrated the courage of these tough African American soldiers. Heavy fighting marked their months at the front, including a magnificent attack and defense of Hill 581 that May. Throughout their deployment in Korea, the 2d Rangers served with honor and achieved a magnificent combat record.

The passionate description of bravery, patriotism, and pride gives the reader insight into the men who changed the armed services forever. I found myself wanting to cheer for them, cry with them, and beamed with pride in all they were able to accomplish. – Pamela Gentry, Washington Bureau Chief, BET News

Mr. Posey's outstanding new book stands as a shining example of what Americans are capable of accomplishing. This elite outfit of paratroopers not only fought the Communists on the battlefield, but racial prejudice and bigotry from their own government. As one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus, I think this book will help educate all of America's children, young and old, [about] what others have sacrificed on their behalf. – Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Michigan

As a combat veteran of the Korean War, an author, actor, and "Above the Call: Beyond the Duty” style US citizen of African American descent, I found Edward Posey’s The US Army's First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers an outstanding contribution to both our nation’s history and the history of our country during wartime. I heartily recommend this eye-opening and informative depiction of an incredibly relevant page in US history. – James McEachin, Silver Star, Purple Heart Veteran, author actor/director/producer

There is a growing interest in the role of the African American soldier in our history, from the time of the Revolution to Iraq. The US Army's First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers adds a fascinating personal note to this ongoing epic. Posey's story is important because it says so much about our history. It's destined to become an essential part of our understanding of the role black citizens have played in defending and defining our country. – Charlie Maday, Senior Vice President, Military History Channel

A labor of love by surviving members of this unit in the Korean War, an all-volunteer unit that came together when President Truman was putting an end to the segregated military. Told in the first person and not very polished, this is still a record of a transitional time that tested all concerned. Many readers will appreciate this addition to Korean War studies. – Library Journal

Finally, more than fifty years after the end of the war, the world will learn the true story of the United States Army's first and only all-black Ranger unit. Posey's long overdue history is based upon his own firsthand experiences, official records, interviews with survivors, and other archival material. The US Army's First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers offers a rich and worthy addition to the growing literature on the Korean War by explaining the obstacles these patriotic men faced, their sacrifices, and their courageous actions on the far side of the world.

History / Social Sciences / Sociology

Eden Within Eden: Oregon’s Utopian Heritage by James J. Kopp (Oregon State University Press)

Oregon has been the home of nearly three hundred communal experiments since the Aurora Colony was established in 1856. Eden Within Eden is the first book to survey the state’s utopian history, from religious and Socialist groups of the nineteenth century to ecologically conscious communities of the twenty-first century. James J. Kopp, director of the Aubrey R. Watzek Library at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, examines Oregon’s communal history in the context of the state as a destination for those seeking new beginnings and in the framework of utopian and communal experiences across America. Eden Within Eden provides detail about these utopian communities – some realized, some only planned – many of which reflect broader social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of Oregon’s history.

From the dawn of communal groups in Oregon – the German Christian colony at Aurora – to Oregon’s most infamous communal experiment – Rajneeshpuram – this study examines the range of attempts to establish ideal communities in the state. These include the Jewish agrarian colony of New Odessa in the 1880s as well as the ‘new pioneers’ of the 1960s and later those who captured the spirit of the counterculture as well as growing concerns about the environment. The book explores other areas of Oregon’s utopian heritage as well, including literary works and idealistic city planning. There has been no comparable book published on Oregon’s communal history and few such comprehensive examinations of other states. The appendix is a compilation that will guide individuals to additional information on the profiled – and many other – communities.
Kopp in the preface to Eden Within Eden says that since the establishment of the Aurora Colony in 1856, the state has been the home of nearly three hundred communal experiments. Kopp says he has been seeking utopia in Oregon for over three decades. When he finally decided to focus his research on Oregon's utopian heritage, Kopp initiated a three-phased approach. The initial phase centered on identifying and documenting communal experiments in Oregon. With support from the Oregon Council for the Humanities, and with assistance from libraries, particularly the Special Collections at the University of Oregon Libraries and the Oregon Historical Society Research Library, he was able to track down information not only on the known utopian endeavors in Oregon; but also in many new and yet undocumented communal groups.

The second phase was to engage in public presentations on the topic and, again with support from the Oregon Council for the Humanities – in particular OCH's Chautauqua program for which he was selected to participate – his presentation, "Eden Within Eden: Exploring Oregon's Utopian Heritage," was offered over thirty times across the state from 2003 to 2006. These events were important not only for sharing information about this project but for obtaining information on communal groups and experiments made in the state, particularly since the 1960s, as individuals attending these sessions would often bring to his attention groups that he had not yet identified. Kopp identified nearly three hundred communal experiments attempted, or at least planned in some fashion, since the Aurora Colony was established in 1856. The largest segment of these experiments took place in the revival of communal groups in the 1960s and after, but the roots of a number of these communities can be traced to earlier attempts in Oregon and elsewhere. Many of these groups shared the basic belief that the place to attempt these experiments was in Oregon, a place that long had been viewed and described as Eden.

The third phase of this study is to present these findings in a narrative and to provide a resource guide on these communal experiments. Eden Within Eden is the result. It places Oregon's utopian heritage in several contexts. First is that there is a longstanding view of Oregon as ‘Eden’ and this created an environment that would be receptive to utopian experiments. Another important, and often overlooked, context of Oregon's utopian heritage is within the broader history of utopianism in American history. There also is the sense that as Oregon commemorates its sesquicentennial that there still exists a spirit of the ideal that served as the basis for not just communal societies within the state but nurtured broader utopian ideas and attitudes.

Eden Within Eden balances work rooted in scholarly methodologies and work of interest to a broader readership. The plethora of notes as well as the resource directory in the Appendix highlight the scholarly intent of the book but this does not get in the way of presenting the story of Oregon's utopian heritage in a way of interest to lay readers as well. The book also balances between conveying information on fairly well-known experiences in Oregon while presenting information on lesser-known communities and offering totally new information on others. Kopp limits the information in the narrative on some of the more substantial experiments – the Aurora Colony at one end of the utopian spectrum and Rajneeshpuram at the other – while including more text on some of the other communities.

Eden Within Eden is the first book to survey Oregon’s utopian history, from religious and Socialist groups of the nineteenth century to ecologically conscious communities of the twenty-first century. The appendix, like the text, is a useful compilation that will guide individuals to additional information on the profiled – and many other – communities, providing the most complete information compiled to date on Oregon's utopian heritage.

The book will appeal to students and scholars of communal studies and Pacific Northwest history, as well as to general readers interested in these subjects.
History / Social Sciences / Botanical Sciences

Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive: Decolonizing Botanical Anishinaabe Teachings by Wendy Makoons Geniusz, illustrated by Annmarie Geniusz (Iroquois and Their Neighbors Series: Syracuse University Press)

Traditional Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or Chippewa) knowledge, like the knowledge systems of indigenous peoples around the world, has long been collected and presented by researchers who were not a part of the culture they observed. The result is a ‘colonized’ version of the knowledge, one that is distorted and trivialized by an ill-suited Eurocentric paradigm of scientific investigation and classification. In Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive, Wendy Makoons Geniusz, director of American Indian studies and assistant professor of foreign languages at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, contrasts the way in which Anishinaabe botanical knowledge is presented in the academic record with how it is preserved in Anishinaabe culture. In doing so she seeks to open a dialogue between the two communities to discuss methods for decolonizing existing texts and to develop innovative approaches for conducting more culturally meaningful research in the future.

As an Anishinaabe who grew up in a household practicing traditional medicine and who went on to earn a doctorate and become a professional scholar, Geniusz possesses the authority of someone with a foot firmly planted in each world. Geniusz explains in the introduction to Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive that for many, colonialism exists only in past centuries. After all, there were revolutions in the Americas; colonies broke away from their ‘mother’ countries in Europe. But colonialism goes further and deeper in society than these images.

European colonialism facilitated imperialism by ‘exploiting’ indigenous peoples, allowing imperialism to expand economically and to maintain control over new territories. This image stood in contrast to that of the indigenous peoples surrounding these outposts of imperialism. From this perspective, colonialism is about one people com­pletely taking over another people – one society absorbs another society and continues until that process is accomplished. Lands and governments are taken over, but so is language, culture, religion, knowledge, bodies, and beings. Many indigenous people, especially those trying to interpret colo­nialism in order to understand what was done to them and their societies, look beyond the immediately noticeable results of imperialism, such as the colonization of land and the exploitation of peoples and resources, to the not so readily noticed results: the colonization of oneself – the exploitation and subjugation of their knowledge, their minds, and their very beings.

Over the last few decades scholars have added to a growing body of literature on how the European ruling elite, at the beginning of American colonization, created images of race and the ‘other’ in order to establish dominance in the ‘New World.’' One multifaceted mechanism, which con­tinues to maintain this power structure, is the colonization of knowledge. Those charged with carrying out various assimilation tactics were taught to view native knowledge as ‘primitive’ or ‘evil,’ and, as a result, they often prevented its continued dispersal within native communities. Native people were also made to view their knowledge as ‘wrong’ or ‘inferior’ and non-native knowledge as ‘right’ or ‘superior,’ and, having such views, many naturally chose what was made to look like the better knowledge.

The colonization of native knowledge assisted the colonizers in assimi­lating native peoples, but it gave them another important benefit: They gained this knowledge for themselves. When looking at the colonization of botanical knowledge, the subject of Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive, one sees that the colonizers did indeed gain much knowledge. Once native people came to view their knowledge as inferior, some were willing to part with it, for a price reflecting its primi­tive, inferior nature. Others, seeing the devastating effects of assimilation efforts, chose to entrust this knowledge to researchers as a means of preserving it. In the end, the colonization process both destroyed and preserved native knowledge, and that is the beginning of this text.

Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive examines the colonization of botanical anishinaabegikend­aasowin (anishinaabe knowledge) and suggests ways that this information can be decolonized, reclaimed, and made useful to programs revitalizing anishinaabe language and culture. There are contemporary anishinaabe communities in several states and provinces, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Although these tribes have similar cultures and languages, there are differences between them. Researchers have recorded a fair amount of information about how the Anishinaabeg work with plants and trees; however, much of this information has been colonized. In order to use it for cultural revitaliza­tion, it must be reinterpreted into a format that is appropri­ate and usable to anishinaabe-izhitwaawin (anishinaabe culture). Geniusz looks deep into the process of colonization by focusing on the mechanisms through which the colonists continue to maintain their power.

Some of the colonized texts are insulting because they make degrad­ing statements about the Anishinaabeg and their knowledge. Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive implements Biskaabiivang research methodologies to decolonize anishinaabe-gikendaasowin. The Biskaabiivang approach to research was developed in courses for the Masters of Indigenous Knowledge/Philosophy Program when students and instructors asked Anishinaabe elders to describe in Ojibwe certain concepts associated with how an Anishinaabe person learns within anishinaabe cul­ture. The elders involved in this project include Delbert Horton and Ann Nilson of the Rainy River First Nations, Tobasonakwut Kinew of the Oni­gaming First Nation, and Edward Benton-Benai of Lac Courte d'Oreilles. The Anishinaabe academics involved in this project helped the students correlate these anishinaabe cultural concepts with those of traditional academia. This project resulted in a list of terms in the Ojibwe language, describing the anishinaabe way of being, to be used by those conducting research on anishinaabe-gikendaasowin.

In the context of this methodology, the word biskaabiiyang means ‘returning to ourselves’. Laura Horton, director of the Post Secondary Education Program at Seven Generations, describes Biskaabiivang research as a process through which Anishinaabe researchers evaluate how they personally have been affected by colonization, rid themselves of the emotional and psychological baggage they carry from this process, and then return to their ancestral traditions. As far as the survival of Anishinaabe people and culture is con­cerned, this is the most crucial part of Biskaabiivang research methodologies. Not only does this approach give Anishinaabe academics and communities a common ground on which to begin talking about research, it also provides a means of coming to terms with "The reach of imperialism into ‘our heads.’"

Incorporating stories, songs, dreams and visions, her Anishinaabe sources provide guides to a comprehensive program for achieving a better quality of life. The author's further objective is to urge Anishinaabe themselves to use their native-based knowledge to revitalize their own culture, generally undervalued by western society. – Helen Hornbeck Tanner; Senior Research Fellow, The Newberry Library, Chicago

There is a legacy of academic publications which interpret plant knowledge through the lens of the ‘western scientist.’ This book offers firsthand accounts from a perspective within the culture that is cognizant of both indigenous and scientific perspectives. – Robin Wall Himmer, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Geniusz has written a welcome contribution to the growing literature in Native American Studies. She never loses sight of the big picture and her work speaks to the perspective of a native scholar. – JoAllyn Archanbault, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Geniusz’s unique ability to navigate both indigenous and scientific perspectives makes Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive an invaluable contribution to the field and enriches our understanding of all native communities. By providing the frame of reference of Biskaabiivang research methodologies, she opens a dialogue with the academic culture about how to decolonize texts.

Home & Garden / Animals & Pets / Biographies & Memoirs

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz (Hyperion)

She arrived with her name. Trixie.

I joked sometimes that it sounded more like a stripper than a dog. They told us we could change it and that she could quickly be taught to answer to a new name. But if it sounded more like a stripper than a dog, it sounded more like an elf or a fairy than a stripper. Elves and fairies are magical beings, and so was she. – from the book

Everybody knows Dean Koontz. He is an enormously popular novelist with eleven #1 New York Times bestsellers to his credit. But do they know Trixie? She was the Koontz family's beloved golden retriever, and she had quite a following of her own. As a guest blogger on Koontz's Web site, Trixie attracted her own loyal contingent, and went on to author three books. Her most recent book, Bliss to You, was a New York Times bestseller.

A Big Little Life is Koontz's first nonfiction book and it chronicles the love shared between Dean, his wife Gerda, and their inimitable ‘Trix,’ and the life lessons learned from this unbelievable dog with a megawatt personality. Trixie Koontz, or ‘Short Stuff’ as Koontz often called her, has a unique story. Koontz and his wife Gerda adopted Trixie after an injury released her from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a nonprofit organization that trains dogs to assist people with disabilities.

Koontz says he thought he had everything he needed, and then along came Trixie. He had always wanted a dog – had even written several books in which dogs were featured. But not until Trixie was he truly open to the change that such a creature could bring about in him. Trixie had intelligence, a lack of vanity, and an uncanny knack for living in the present. And because she was joyful and direct as all dogs are, she put her heart into everything – from chasing tennis balls, to playing practical jokes, to protecting those she loved.

In A Big Little Life Koontz weaves in stories about the golden retriever's uncanny ability to recognize good character, her adventurous nature, how well she vogued for the camera, and her stoicism. Trixie became a critic, writer, and entrepreneur and caused Koontz to rethink everything he thought he knew about animal psychology. This heartwarming memoir makes it clear that Trixie's winsome and caring personality was contagious. Trixie taught Koontz to trust his instincts, persuaded him to cut down to a fifty-hour work week, and, perhaps most important, renewed in him a sense of wonder. She mended him in many ways.

Trixie weighed only sixty-something pounds, and she lived less than twelve years. She was a little thing, but in all the ways that mattered, including the effect she had on those who loved her, she lived a big life. For the Koontzes, Trixie was more than a pet. She was a furry daughter and a constant companion. Most of all, Koontz says, Trixie restored a sense of wonder to his world.

The private life of Dean Koontz has never been the focus of his books – until now. A Big Little Life gives Koontz fans and dog-lovers a never-before-seen look into Koontz's home and family life. He talks about his own past, the inspiration for his writing, his and Gerda's marriage and business partnership, and their life in southern California with Trixie. Koontz's sense of humor is at its best as he describes his own habits and those of the people closest to him. He is also not afraid to get serious, imbuing the book with a deeper meaning by opening up about his personal beliefs.

A Big Little Life is a heartwarming memoir and a powerful tribute to a beloved family member and will remind readers that the love of our canine best friends is a love that lasts a lifetime.

Trixie passed away in 2007, and the Koontz family remains a major supporter of CCI. In fact, the campus in Oceanside, California, is named the Gerda, Dean, and Trixie Koontz Campus and all of the author proceeds from sales of A Big Little Life will be donated to the organization.

Home & Garden / Interior Design / Business & Investing / Marketing / Reference

Marketing Interior Design by Lloyd Princeton (Allworth Press)
Many designers come into the residential and commercial interior design business filled with creative insights and ideas and get bogged down by the realities of running a business.

But why struggle to market interior design when one can get specialized advice from a top-notch consultant? In Marketing Interior Design, Lloyd Princeton, founder and principal consultant of Design Management Company, a New York City and Los Angeles-based consulting firm, offers readers the same high-quality insights that he gives to his clientele. Drawing on his professional expertise as well as the experiences of his clients, he provides detailed guidance to help readers learn to:

  • Figure out what to charge and have the confidence to demand that price.
  • Write their business statement.
  • Brand their business, including designing promotional materials.
  • Find leads and take advantage of them through networking.
  • Land jobs and learn how to handle the interview process.
  • Protect themselves with contracts.
  • Take advantage of the burgeoning market for green products and services.

Princeton, internationally respected motivational speaker and market consultant, brings his years of experience and interior design business expertise to interior design entrepreneurs in Marketing Interior Design. Offering readers the insights he's been delivering to his clients for more than a decade as a consultant, Princeton's guide is designed to help professional designers better understand the interior design industry and effectively market their businesses. Both newcomers and interior design veterans will find tips on the various aspects of the business.

This insider guide is filled with examples of good and bad marketing materials, first-hand stories, and sample contract forms. In addition to the practical advice he gives on marketing and managing an interior design business, Princeton provides anecdotal stories from some of today's most successful designers along with first-hand accounts from his own experience in the industry.

As a motivator, Lloyd is an incredible speaker to the interior design trade. His industry experience brings tremendous value to any client, at any level. His theories are a roadmap to success. – Sidney Goldberg, owner, Sidney Goldberg and Associates, Kravet/Lee Jofa
If you are a designer who needs to be his or her own talent manager, then you need to read this book. Lloyd Princeton’s rules of engagement for success in business give readers a clear blueprint for creative integrity and fiscal success…. – Margaret Casey, director of programming, Market Center, Las Vegas
Lloyd Princeton’s Marketing Interior Design is to the design specialist what Cosmopolitan is to the human libido – a road map for self-assessment and a treasury of good advice to buoy professional expertise and confidence. The how-to also offers a forecast on changing markets, which has value for the uninitiated as well as the veteran designer. – Deborah Sanders, managing editor, Veranda magazine

Finally – a book for interior design professionals. Marketing Interior Design is a comprehensive guide to what to do – and what not to do – in the process of building a successful interior design business, from one of the most influential voices in the industry. If readers are starting out in the field of interior design or just want to retool their existing business, they need this book.

Mysteries & Thrillers

The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolaño, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews (New Directions)

With a murder at its heart, literary phenomenon Roberto Bolaño's The Skating Rink is, among other things, a crime novel. This deeply layered book concerns political corruption, sex, the immigrant experience, and frustrated passion. And it's also an atmospheric chronicle of one sum­mer season in a seaside town, with its vacation­ers, its drifters, businessmen, bureaucrats, and social workers. Set in the imaginary seaside resort town of Z, on the Costa Brava north of Barcelona, the novel weaves together the accounts of three male narrators: an illegal immigrant writer; an up-from-nothing Mexican businessman; and a local corrupt civil servant.

The Skating Rink starts off with Gaspar Heredia – writer, Mexican, illegal immigrant, and stand-in for Bolaño himself – who meets Remo Moran, a businessman who pulled himself up to wealth from his inauspicious beginnings as a stall vendor of cheap tourist souvenirs. Moran hires Heredia as night watchman for a campground Moran runs as a stopping ground for illegal immigrants. Heredia out of boredom starts spying on Moran’s odd friends and accidentally stumbles across a skating rink built by a corrupt civil servant – Enric Rosquelles: pompous, fat, squat and ugly – who has diverted public funds to secretly build the rink on behalf of the love of his life: María, a blonde babe whose abiding passion is to get back onto the Spanish Olympic ice-skating team and who, unbeknownst to Rosquelles, is having a fling with Moran, the businessman. The discovery of Rosquelles’s crimes leads to madcap blackmail, more crime, sex, intrigue – and murder.
Author of 2666 and many other acclaimed works, Bolaño (1953-2003), widely considered the greatest Latin American writer of his generation, was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, Paris, and Spain. He has been acclaimed “by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time” (Ilan Stavans, The Los Angeles Times),” and as “the real thing and the rarest” (Susan Sontag). Among his many prizes are the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos.

Darkly funny, but also tender and complex in the tenor of classic Bolaño novels, The Skating Rink is his seventh book from New Directions and the first work of fiction to be released in English since his sensational 2666, which was acclaimed "the most important novel of the 21st century" by Kirkus.

Reading Roberto Bolaño is like hearing the secret story, being shown the fabric of the particular, watching the tracks of art and life merge at the horizon and linger there like a dream from which we awake inspired to look more attentively at the world. – Francine Prose, New York Times

The most influential and admired novelist of his generation in the Spanish-speaking world. – Susan Sontag, The London Times Literary Supplement

A hair-raising yet funny and tender book that delivers Bolaño’s signature mix of mordant wit and romantic tenderness, The Skating Rink is both a crime and a love story. Religion & Spirituality / Health, Mind & Body

The Spirituality of Sex by J. Harold Ellens (Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality Series: Praeger)

In The Spirituality of Sex, J. Harold Ellens sheds light on the interplay of sexuality and spirituality through the use of anecdotes, observation, and analysis. Ellens, adjunct professor of philosophy and biblical studies at University of Detroit-Mercy at Wayne State University and research scholar in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, is a retired university professor of philosophy and psychology, a retired US Army Colonel, a retired Presbyterian pastor and theologian, and a clinical psychotherapist in private practice,

The Spirituality of Sex describes the psycho-spiritual facts of life about the pervasiveness of sexuality in all aspects of human life. According to Ellens, the energy developed by our libido is the dynamic source of all the forces that shape our experience, life, motives, thought, feelings, desires, and spiritual longings. No facet of life is untouched or unshaped by this dynamo. Whether we are sitting in church at worship, in a meeting for business, in a party for pleasure, we are always aware of the gender of those who are around us and of their level of sensuality, as it impacts us. If we are not aware of that, some wounding has produced an impairment in us that has forced us to repress the awareness inappropriately.

According to Ellens, human spirituality is best defined as our irrepressible hunger and quest for meaning in all aspects of life. Human sexuality is best defined as our irrepressible hunger and quest for union with other persons and the meaning found in the wholeness that such union brings. Sexuality and spirituality are not two different things. They are two names for the same thing: the irrepressible human quest for meaning, fulfillment, union, and wholeness. They are not two different forces, nor are they in any way at odds with one another, as they have been made to seem in the polarizing attitudes about sexuality and spirituality popular in human society, thanks to the excessive and negative moralization of sex.

The Spirituality of Sex is not a how-to manual so much as a description of the deep meaningfulness that can be found in the spirituality of sex. It is designed to enlighten us about ourselves, to give names to what we feel all the time and do not know quite how to describe. It is about savoring the spiritual flavor of sexual play and sexual union. It is not a book mainly for Christians or Jews, but a book for everyone. It is about the generic human spirituality in each one of us, true believer and atheist alike. It is about being human more fully and with greater satisfaction.

J. Harold Ellens has written a book for the 21st century. His theme that with both spirituality and sexuality, we seek closeness, unity, and attachment will resonate. His anecdotes and stories flesh out his theme and give it spirit. You cannot read this book without chuckling, feeling nostalgic, pondering thoughtfully, and feeling elevated. It will help you feel closer to God and to those whom you love. – Everett L. Worthington, Jr., author of Forgiving and Reconciling: Bridges to Wholeness and Hope
The author explores together the two most intractable and impenetrable problems in the modern experience, sexuality and spirituality, and the connections between them. The author elevates sex out of the arena of mud and shame and pulls spirituality down from the mist and clouds. This work will set the terms of the debate on these subjects for the decades ahead. – The Rev. Dr. Raymond J. Lawrence Jr., Retired Director of Pastoral Care, New York Presbyterian Hospital
Drawing on his long experience as a psychotherapist, theologian, and pastor, J. Harold Ellens makes a compelling and persuasive case that sex and spirituality belong together – in fact, that sex is good and life-giving only when it is deepened by spirituality. – Douglas J. Brouwer, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Never one to shy away from controversy, Ellens stomps where others tread lightly. Thoughtful and provocative, Ellens uncovers the deep structure of our sexual nature, showing its broad significant impact on our entire being yet without discounting its afternoon delights. You may not always agree with him, but I'll guarantee that this book will make you think even more about sex – perhaps in ways you've never thought possible. – Peter C. Hill Professor of Psychology Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University

The Spirituality of Sex thoughtfully examines the spiritual aspects of sexuality and how they can enhance intimacy and satisfaction. This inspirational and ultimately reassuring book is for everyone, from the inquiring adolescent to the mature adult looking for what is missing in sex and relationships.

Religion & Spirituality / Mormonism / Biographies & Memoirs

Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement by Irene Spencer (Center Street)

Thoughts of sleep fled as I listened to my pounding heart. Whom would I grab if we had to flee for our lives? Would I take the baby and leave the other nine to fend for themselves? Whom would I take and where would I run?

My agitated mind could not keep facing death every moment I was awake. I had to come up with a plan. The next morning. I walked three blocks to my ex-sister-wife Helen's rock home. In a rush of words. I told her of my concern for my children's lives and that I needed help. She agreed, and we walked together out of the house and through her backyard. She unlocked a small feed room adjacent to the goat corrals. Once inside. I scoped out the space. I could move a few bales of hay – and by stacking them a little higher, make a little more room in the shed. Helen offered a twin-size mattress that was stored on top of the hay. With a promise from Helen to tell no one, I felt relief flood me. I had a hiding place for my brood of children. We would be safe. – from the book

Life for Irene Spencer was a series of devastating disappointments and hardships. Spencer's first book, Shattered Dreams, is the chronicle of her struggle to provide for her children in abject poverty and feelings of abandonment each time her husband left to be with one of his nine other wives. She was raised to believe polygamy was the way of life necessary for her ticket to heaven.
The hard knocks of her environment were just the beginning of Spencer’s tale. Insanity ran rampant in her husband's family and was the source of inconceivable events that unfolded throughout Spencer's adult life. Cult Insanity takes readers deeper into her story to uncover the outrageous behavior of her brother-in-law Ervil – a self-proclaimed prophet who determined he was called to set the house of God in order – and how he terrorized their colony. Claiming to be God's avenger and to have a license to kill in the name of God, Ervil ordered the murders of friends and family members, eliminating all those who challenged his authority.
Spencer quickly became enveloped in a dark cloud of fear and anguish. Survival for herself and her ever-growing family turned into a constant flight from one desert camp to another across the harsh badlands of Baja, California. Food was scarce and living conditions abhorrent. She didn't see her husband for months, never knowing if Ervil would make good on his vow to kill him.
Spencer now resides in Northern California with her husband of twenty-one years, Hector J. Spencer. During the twenty-eight years of her first marriage to a polygamous husband, Irene gave birth to thirteen children (all single births), and she adopted a newborn girl, who became her ninth child. Spencer has 123 grandchildren and sixty great-grandchildren.

Irene Spencer is my hero. In her second book, Cult Insanity she delves even deeper into the soul-stealing world of polygamy: She bravely exposes Ervil LeBaron, her evil brother-in-law and the self-proclaimed prophet of the world, for ordering the deaths of twenty-eight family members and converts who opposed him. This book plunges a dagger into the heart of polygamous slavery. – Bud Gardner, coauthor, Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul

For those who were gripped by Shattered Dreams, the rest of the story will blow them away. Cult Insanity is a riveting, terrifying memoir of polygamist life under the tyranny of a madman.

Religion & Spirituality / New Age / Self-Help

The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together by Charles T. Tart (Institute of Noetic Sciences & New Harbinger Publications)

Modern science has taught us much about the world, but will science ever make spirituality obsolete? Today, the need for spiritual explanations remains strong – some 20 percent of the population describes themselves as ‘spiritual, but not religious,’ that is, unaffiliated with a specific church or synagogue but engaged in spiritual seeking. A 2006 survey found that 92 percent of Americans believe in a personal God.

The classic materialist view is of a universe of separate objects that occasionally and meaninglessly affect each other through material forces. These objects are considered to be dead matter. But are things more linked than we normally imagine? The End of Materialism presents an argument that the twenty-first century needs a much broader perspective on the nature of reality than traditional science is capable of delivering.

In this book, Charles T. Tart, faculty member of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, presents research that supports the existence of paranormal phenomena and shows readers how science and spirituality can be understood as two interconnected halves of a whole instead of as forces in opposition. The book presents Tart's most intriguing findings in his fifty-year career investigating paranormal phenomena in scientific experiments at prestigious institutions including Stanford University and the University of California, Davis.

The End of Materialism offers evidence for the existence of telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and psychic healing, and explains other phenomena such as out-of-body experiences and near-death experiences. The book makes an argument for the union of science and spirituality in light of the new evidence, and explains why a truly rational viewpoint must address the reality of the spiritual world.

Tart is internationally known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness, particularly on altered states of consciousness, and for his research in scientific parapsychology. Tart's two classic books, Altered States of Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychologies, were instrumental in introducing these areas to modern psychology. In this challenge to traditional science and spirituality, Tart employs scientific skepticism and an open mind (both essential to interpreting results ‘as objectively as possible’) to question the seeming contradiction between ‘the formal, rational rules of science, which have worked so well in understanding the physical world’ and ‘behaviors that cannot be reduced to materialistic explanations.’ To substantiate his thesis, Tart analyzes a number of scientific paranormal experiments including: distinguishing the color of face-down cards, testing the hypothesis that feedback training improves telepathic ability, attempting to show a relationship between electromagnetism and clairvoyance, etc.

…While admitting that he has no "final, absolutely certain, and wonderful answers," Tart covers a wide range of phenomena (remote viewing, psychic healing, mediumship) and leaves readers much to ponder. – Publishers Weekly

… Tart's inspiring, majestic image of consciousness will prevail because of two compelling reasons: it is built on good science and it more fully accounts for who we humans are and how we behave. – Larry Dossey, MD, author of The Power of Premonitions and Healing Words

This beautifully written book is not only a masterful survey of parapsychology and psychical research, but also a thoughtful analysis of scien­tific inquiry and how it can be used to explore and explain the spiritual aspects of human nature. Combining laboratory evidence, case studies, and his own extensive experience as a scientist and spiritual seeker, Charles Tart skewers the postulates of a materialistic worldview that for too long has ignored vast areas of the human potential. – Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., coeditor, Varieties of Anomalous Experience

This book is an outstanding contribution to the emerging dialogue between science and spirituality. Tart makes a persuasive argument for questioning common assumptions about the nature of reality, thoroughly grounded in solid research. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the farther reaches of human awareness. – Frances Vaughan, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Shadows of the Sacred

The End of Materialism is brilliant. This is the book Tart has obviously been working up to all his life. – Colin Wilson

An extraordinary accomplishment in parapsychology by an enlightened experimental psychologist in the tradition of William James. – Eugene Taylor, Ph.D., executive faculty at Saybrook Graduate School, lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

In The End of Materialism, Charles Tart has distilled a wealth of knowledge derived from his empirical study of human experiences that points to the presence of the spiritual in the world. Tart's characteristic humor and sense of fun shine through the text again and again, but always against the background if his wisdom, acquired over a lifetime of pondering the mystery of what it means to be human. This is the book for those who value an approach to the spiritual that is both scientific and richly personal in tone. – Adam Crabtree, author of Multiple Man and Trance Zero

The End of Materialism, together with Tart’s other work, marks the beginning of an evidence-based spiritual awakening that may profoundly influence our understanding of the deeper forces at work in our lives. The book presents an elegant argument in a conversational style and is ideal for scientifically minded individuals curious about life’s spiritual side as well as spiritually inclined people seeking to back up their beliefs with legitimate scientific evidence.

 Sciences / Biology / Social Sciences / Native American Studies

Biocultural Diversity and Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Human Ecology in the Arctic by Karim-Aly Kassam (University of Calgary Press)

At the dawn of the third millennium, dramatic challenges face human civilization everywhere. Relations between human beings and their environment are in peril, with mounting threats to both biological diversity of life on earth and cultural diversity of human communities. The peoples of the Circumpolar Arctic are at the forefront of these challenges and lead the way in seeking meaningful responses.

In Biocultural Diversity and Indigenous Ways of Knowing, author Karim-Aly Kassam positions the Arctic and sub-Arctic as a homeland rather than simply a frontier for resource exploitation. Kassam, International Associate Professor of Environmental and Indigenous Studies at Cornell University, aims to empirically and theoretically illustrate the synthesis between the cultural and biological, using human ecology as a conceptual and analytical lens. Drawing on research carried out in partnership with indigenous northern communities, three case studies illustrate that subsistence hunting and gathering are not relics of an earlier era, but rather remain essential.

Biocultural Diversity and Indigenous Ways of Knowing deals with contemporary issues such as climate change, indigenous peoples, and the impact of natural resource extraction. It is a narrative of community-based research, in the service of the communities for the benefit of the communities. Having worked with the people of the Arctic for over fifteen hears, Kassam’s research focuses on the complex connectivity of human and environmental relations, addressing indigenous ways of knowing, sustainable development, and climate change. In partnership with indigenous communities, he has conducted research in the Alaskan, Canadian, and Russian Arctic and sub-Arctic; the Pamir Mountains in Afghanistan and Tajikistan; and the forests in the south of India. According to Kassam in the introduction, conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. That land is a community is the basic con­cept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.

At the dawn of the third millennium subsistence hunting and gathering remain essential to both cultural diversity and human survival. Arctic ecosystems continue to provide the basis for human existence, bridging biological and cultural diversity. For example, in the mid-1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union's centralized economy, the world's most industrialized and densely populated polar region found itself facing shortages of food and fuel. Help was not widely available from Russian government institutions; instead it arrived from other circumpolar indigenous communities and international institutions. The diverse Sami cultural groups from Norway, Sweden, and Finland came to the assistance of the Sami in Russia. Various Inupiaq, Inuit, Inuvialuit, and Yupik groups came to the assistance of the Chukchi and Yupik in the Chukotka Peninsula.

While sharing some similarities with other international emergency relief efforts, these responses were otherwise unique because they involved the transfer of tools and knowledge to facilitate subsistence hunting and gathering. The ability to hunt and fish was not a question of sport, but es­sential for feeding members of one's community and household. Although this ability to maintain a subsistence lifestyle was present in some individuals, it had been largely neglected and devalued during decades of industrialization and collectivization. To offset decades of Soviet discourage­ment of local resource use, for example, Alaska's Ifiupiat found it necessary to send supplies and weapons to their neighbors across the Bering Sea. But before Chukotka's communities could effectively hunt marine mammals, the Ifiupiat also found it necessary to pressure the International Whaling Commission to extend quotas to enable subsistence hunting. Moreover, for several years they invited community leaders, hunters, and scientists from the Chukotka Peninsula to Alaska's North Slope Borough to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and the strengthening of local institutions that would become stewards of hunters' rights and capacities to use local resources ef­fectively.

These recent events provide a compelling link between biological and cultural diversity. Diversity is not commonly associated with the Arctic and sub-Arctic, but it is in fact a reality of the circumpolar north. As the chapters illustrate, it is a common mistake in urbanized and industrial­ized societies of the twenty-first century to regard subsistence activities as anachronistic or obsolete cultural holdovers from earlier centuries. Instead, there are communities where these subsistence activities remain as essen­tial as ever to cultural identity and even to human survival.

In the initial decades of the twenty-first century there are three pivotal trends confronting interdisciplinary scholarship that seeks to serve civil society: (1) growing questions of the relevance of the social sciences and hu­manities to human needs, (2) increasing need to integrate the biological and cultural, and (3) mounting threats to both biological and cultural diversity. These broad tendencies contextualize and inform Biocultural Diversity and Indigenous Ways of Knowing (section 1.1). The response to these trends will determine how relations between human beings and their environment are perceived and explained. Whether and how diversity is perceived will be shaped by the perception of the Arctic and sub-Arctic as a homeland rather than a frontier for resource exploitation (section 1.2). A brief outline of the chapters and the research steps illus­trates how these three broad trends and the conception of the circumpolar north as a homeland are presented in this work (1.3).

Biocultural Diversity and Indigenous Ways of Knowing is the culmination of over thirteen years of research and teaching related to human ecology in the Arctic and sub-Arctic. It represents a reflexivity gained from years of experience. It situates action research meth­odology on a broader theoretical basis in order to provide insight into the human ecology of the circumpolar north.

Chapter 2 critically examines the concept of human ecology with spe­cific reference to the relations between culture and nature. Beginning with a discussion of ecology as a founding science that informs the notion of hu­man ecology it recounts how human ecology incubated and emerged in the social sciences. The chapter concludes with an argument for the need to reconceptualize human ecological relations.

Chapter 3 reconceptualizes human ecological relations by asserting that it is a lens for understanding relations between biological and cultural diversity with specific reference to the Arctic and sub-Arctic. Starting with discussion of diversity as the basis of sensory perception which provides (human ecological) context for the formation of relations, the discussion proceeds into different ways of knowing utilizing Aristotle's notion of phronesis, or practical wisdom. The chapter concludes with the assertion that human ecological understanding, in the context of communities in the circumpolar north, is best achieved through sensitivity to indigenous knowledge.

Chapters 4, 5, and 6 present cases to illustrate the relation between the zoological and cultural through the interdisciplinary lens of human ecology. Explanation of human activity cannot be context-free. Application of human skills or social and biological interaction presupposes context, making human ecology fundamentally context-dependent. The case study approach through context-dependent knowledge provides insights into experience, which is precisely the basis of grounded theory.

Partnership formation is a fundamental first step to achieving commu­nity participation in any human ecology research project. Meaningful and robust human ecological research cannot occur without community par­ticipation. Partnership formation occurs when trust is established in the re­lationship. Therefore, chapter 4, a product of such collaboration, illustrates the unique and diverse human ecological culture of the Arctic Inuit com­munity of Ulukhaktok (formerly Holman), Northwest Territories, Canada. It reveals that sharing of the fruits of the hunt is at the basis of the cultural system and informs social relations in the community.

Chapter 5 draws upon human ecological research to explore the impact of climate change and sea-ice conditions on the subsistence lifestyle of the Inupiat community of Wainwright, Alaska. Particular ways of knowing and the value of community participation and action research are examined as methodological approaches for investigating human ecological relations. A case is made for combining sci­entific and indigenous ways of knowing. Finally, human ecological impacts of climate change are discussed.

Chapter 6 examines the transformative character of human ecological mapping. Human ecological maps and their history are briefly related. The power of human ecological maps is described with reference to their mediat­ing and communicative roles, reflexivity and human agency, and the intergen­erational transfer of practical wisdom.

Chapter 7 draws together the key elements such as biocultural diver­sity, ways of knowing, and community participation in order to discuss the theoretical and practice implications of human ecological research.

Using human ecology as a conceptual and analytical lens, Biocultural Diversity and Indigenous Ways of Knowing illustrates the synthesis between the cultural and biological. The case studies convincingly illustrate that subsistence hunting and gathering are not relics of an earlier era, but remain essential to cultural diversity and human survival. The book provides resource-based industry, policy makers, and students with an alternative way of looking at indigenous communities and addressing concerns of socio-economic development and the environment.

Sciences / Earth Sciences / Outdoors & Nature / Environment / Social Policy

Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate by Panel on Strategies and Methods for Climate-Related Decision Support, National Research Council (National Academies Press)

Earth's climate is changing, with the global temperature now rising at rates unprecedented in the experience of human society. While some historical changes in climate have resulted from natural causes and variations, the strength of the trends and the patterns of change that are now emerging indicate that human influences, resulting primarily from increased emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuels and other greenhouse gases and the deforesting of the tropical rain forests, have now become the dominant factor. Recent studies by a global team of carbon cycle scientists concluded that anthropogenic CO2 emissions have been growing four times faster since 2000 than in the 1990s and are now above the worst-case emission scenario projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Everyone – government agencies, private organizations, and individuals – is facing a changing climate: an environment in which it is no longer prudent to follow routines based on past climatic averages. State and local agencies in particular, as well as the federal government, need to consider what they will have to do differently if the 100-year flood arrives every decade or so, if the protected areas for threatened species are no longer habitable, or if a region can expect more frequent and more severe wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, water shortages, or other extreme environmental events. Both conceptually and practically, people and organizations will have to adjust what may be life-long assumptions to meet the potential consequences of climate change. How and where should bridges be built? What zoning rules may need to be changed? How can targets for reduced carbon emissions be met? These and myriad other questions will need to be answered in the coming years and decades.
Developed by The National Academies, which provide independent objective advice on issues that affect people’s lives worldwide, Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate examines the growing need for climate-related decision support – that is, organized efforts to produce, disseminate, and facilitate the use of data and information in order to improve the quality and efficacy of climate-related decisions. Drawing on evidence from past efforts to organize science for improved decision making, the book develops guidance for government agencies and other institutions that will provide or use information for coping with climate change.

According to Robert W. Corell, Chair and Kai N. Lee, Vice Chair, Panel on Strategies and Methods for Climate-Related Decision Support, as the unparalleled challenges and opportunities of a changing climate have been recognized, there has been a growing demand from leaders in both the public and private sectors for information and more effective ways to support climate-related decisions.

Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with proce­dures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC), and the review of the report was overseen by Barbara Entwisle, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and George M. Hornberger, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt University.

As a result of human activity, the average temperature of Earth will soon leave the less-than-1° Celsius range that it has maintained for more than 10,000 years. Despite 15 years of intense international climate negotiations, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been growing 33 percent faster during the last 8 years than they did in the 1990s.

Climate change will create a novel and dynamic decision environment. The parameters of the new climate regime cannot be envisioned from past experience. Climatic changes will be superimposed on social and economic changes that are altering the climate vulnerability of different re­gions and sectors of society, as well as their ability to cope. Decision makers will need new kinds of information and new ways of thinking and learning to function effectively in a changing climate.

Many decision makers are experiencing or anticipating a new climate regime and are asking questions about climate change and potential re­sponses to it that federal agencies are unprepared to answer. Anticipating a continuing increase in the demand for such ‘decision support,’ the U.S. En­vironmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asked the National Academies to undertake this study, to provide a framework and a set of strategies and methods for organizing and evaluating decision support activities related to climate change. In response to this charge, the Panel on Strategies and Methods for Climate-Related Decision Support examined basic knowledge of decision making; past experiences in other fields, such as hazard response, public health, and natural resource management; experience with early efforts in the climate arena; and input from a range of decision makers.

The Panel’s study found that climate change poses challenges not only for the many decision makers it will affect, but also for federal agencies and for the scientific community. The end of climate stationarity requires that organiza­tions and individuals alter their standard practices and decision routines to account for climate change. Scientific priorities and practices need to change so that the scientific community can provide better support to decision mak­ers in managing emerging climate risks. Decision support – that is, organized efforts to produce, disseminate, and facilitate the use of data and information in order to improve the quality and efficacy of climate-related decisions – is essential for developing responses to climate change. The information that is needed is not only about climate, but also about changes in social and economic conditions that interact with climate change and about the state of knowledge and uncertainty about these phenomena and interactions.

Considering the great diversity of climate-affected decisions and decision makers, it is useful to organize decision support around constituencies. The Panel identified four roles for the federal government in climate-related decision support. Federal leadership is essential in (1) serving the constituencies of federal agencies, (2) participating in international efforts related to climate decision support, (3) providing decision support services and products that serve a pub­lic good that would not otherwise be provided, and (4) facilitating distributed responses to climate change. The last of these is important because central management is neither feasible nor effective for providing decision support for the many climate-affected constituencies in the nation. All four roles are consistent with federal responsibilities under the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 and can be pursued under that mandate.

Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate sets forth the foundations for improved decision support with a set of principles and a framework for decision support processes that include information, strategies, and methods. The report concludes that the federal government's efforts should be undertaken through a new integrated, interagency initiative with both service and research elements. The panel offers nine recommendations to facilitate effective development of climate-related decision support capabilities across many levels of governments and the private sector in our nation.

Recommendation 1: Government agencies at all levels and other orga­nizations, including in the scientific community, should organize their decision support efforts around six principles of effective decision support: (1) begin with users' needs; (2) give priority to process over prod­ucts; (3) link information producers and users; (4) build connections across disciplines and organizations; (5) seek institutional stability; and (6) design processes for learning.

Recommendation 2: Federal agencies should develop or expand deci­sion support systems needed by the climate-affected regions, sectors, and constituencies they serve.

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) should expand its Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program and Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP) centers to serve the full range of regions and sectors of the nation where NOAA has natural constituencies.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should ex­pand its climate-related decision support programs to serve more re­gional and sectoral constituencies.
  • Other federal agencies should take similar steps for their climate-affected constituencies.
  • The federal government should selectively support state and local governments and nongovernmental organizations to expand their efforts to provide effective decision support to their climate-affected constituencies.

Learning poses difficult challenges for climate-related decision making, especially by public agencies, because frequently there are multiple partici­pants with varied and changing objectives interacting with uncertain and evolving knowledge. The Panel found that the most appropriate model for learn­ing under such conditions combines participatory deliberation with expert analysis in an iterative manner. This model is quite demanding in its needs for leadership and other resources.

Recommendation 3: Federal agencies in their own decision support activities and in fostering decision support by others should use the ap­proach of deliberation with analysis when feasible. This is the process most likely to encourage the emergence of good climate-related deci­sions over time. The federal government should also fund research on decision support efforts that combine deliberation with analysis and that use other appropriate learning models, with the aim of improving decision support for a changing climate.

Recommendation 4: Federal agencies and other entities that provide de­cision support should monitor changes in science, policy, and climate-related events, including changes outside the United States, that are likely to alter the demand and opportunities for effective decision support. Knowledge of such changes will help them to learn and to improve more rapidly.

Recommendation 5: Federal agencies should promote learning by supporting decision support networks to share lessons and technical ca­pabilities. This may include support for expanding the capacity of boundary organizations and distributed entities for learning, such as internet sites. The federal investment should be selective and guided by the reality that networks operate satisfactorily only when their mem­bers see concrete benefits from participation.

Achieving decision support objectives requires research to understand, assess, and predict the human consequences of climate change and of pos­sible responses to climate change. That research must be closely integrated with basic and applied research on climate processes.

Recommendation 6: The federal agencies that manage research activi­ties mandated under the U.S. Global Change Research Act (USGCRA) should organize a program of research for informing climate change response as a component of equal importance to the current national program of research on climate change processes. This program should include research for and on decision support, aimed at providing deci­sion-relevant knowledge and information for climate responses.

The research for decision support should have five substantive foci:

  1. Understanding climate change vulnerabilities: human devel­opment scenarios for potentially affected regions, populations, and sectors.
  2. Understanding the potential for mitigation, including anthropo­genic driving forces, capacities for change, possible limits of change, and consequences of mitigation options.
  3. Understanding adaptation contexts and capacities, includ­ing possible limits of change and consequences of various adaptive responses.
  4. Understanding how mitigation and adaptation interact with each other and with climatic and ecological changes in determining human system risks. Vulnerabilities, and response challenges associated with climate change; and
  5. Understanding and taking advantage of emerging opportunities associated with climate variability and change.

The research on decision support should have five substantive foci:

  1. Understanding information needs.
  2. Characterizing and understanding climate risk and uncertainty.
  3. Understanding and improving processes related to decision support; including decision support processes and networks and methods for structuring decisions;
  4. Developing and disseminating decision support products.
  5. Assessing decision support ‘experiments.’

Recommendation 7: The federal government should expand and main­tain national observational systems to provide information needed for climate decision support. These systems should link existing data on physical, ecological, social, economic, and health variables relevant to climate decisions to each other and develop new data and key indica­tors as needed. The effort should be informed by dialogues among potential producers and users of the indicators at different levels of analysis and action and should be coordinated with efforts in other parts of the world to provide a stronger global basis for research and decision support.

Recommendation 8: The federal government should recognize the need for scientists with specialized knowledge in societal issues and the sci­ence of decision support in the field of climate change response. There should be expanded federal support to enable students and scientists to build their capacity as researchers and as advisers to decision makers who are dealing with the changing climate.

Fulfilling the federal roles in climate-related decision support will require coordinated efforts involving many federal agencies.

Recommendation 9: The federal government should undertake a na­tional initiative for climate-related decision support under the mandate of the U.S. Global Change Research Act (USGCRA) and other existing legal authority. This initiative should include a service element to support and catalyze processes to inform climate-related decisions and a research element to develop the science of climate response to inform climate-related decisions and to promote systematic improvement of decision support processes and products in all relevant sectors of U.S. society and, indeed, around the world.

The service element of the initiative should support demonstration and development activities to promote the emergence of decision support systems, support networks to link decision support activities and facilitate learning among them, and help nonfederal actors develop decision support services. The research element of the initiative should include research for and on decision support. The initiative should also expand national observational and data systems, develop indicators, and invest in human resources.

The initiative can and should be pursued under the authority of the USGCRA. However, the federal government, through the National Science and Technology Council, will need to comprehensively reformulate its plan for implementation of the act. Our recommendations imply signifi­cant change in the ways many federal agencies serve their constituencies, coordinate with each other and with nonfederal decision makers, and set research priorities. The panel notes that it does not recommend centralizing the initiative in a single agency. Doing so would disrupt existing relationships between agencies and their constituencies and formalize a separa­tion between the emerging science of climate response and fundamental research on climate and the associated biological, social, and economic phenomena.

The recommended national initiative will require unusually effec­tive collaboration among many federal agencies, since a great variety of agencies – many more than now participate in the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) – need decision support, provide information needed for decision support, or serve constituencies that need decision support. The new initiative will demand strong leadership from the Executive Office of the President, including the science adviser and the new coordinator of en­ergy and climate policy. For many of the agencies that need to be involved, decision support research or services are not part of their current missions, and they lack offices and personnel with the responsibilities and expertise needed to manage the research. In responding to demand for decision support, those responsible for the national research effort will need to induce the relevant agencies to find the needed funds and staff and ensure that appropriate managers in the agencies are given the responsibilities and resources needed to run the programs. The needs are especially acute in the social sciences, which include many of the historically under-supported research areas and for which many environmental agencies lack staff with the requisite expertise and organizational commitment.

Another National Research Council report identifies future priorities for the CCSP as a whole. Together, these two studies call for significant change in research activities being conducted under the authority of the USGCRA, including developing underde­veloped areas of research and finding appropriate organizational homes for research that is now not being done.

The idea of a national climate service in or led by NOAA has received considerable attention in recent years. There is no agreed description of the purview, mandate, or organizational location of such a service. Yet it is clear that any form of national climate service should implement the principles of effective decision support. Thus, it should develop decision support products by means of communication between information providers and users that is likely to shape research agendas in ways that yield useful and usable research products. If a national climate service is created, it should be part of the decision support initiative the Panel recommends and be closely linked to its research element. They believe that a national climate service located in a single agency and modeled on the weather service would by itself be less than fully effective for meeting the national needs for climate-related decision support.

Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate provides critical analysis of interest to agencies at every level, as well as private organizations that will have to cope with the world's changing climate. The recommendations in the report should prove useful for those who are faced with climate-related changes in their operating environments. The response of governments at all levels, businesses and industries, and civil society is only starting, and much is still to be learned about the institutional, technological, and economic shifts that have begun. The conceptual framing and recommendations in this report offer important guidance to more productive climate-related decision support processes.

Sciences / Social Sciences / Library & Information Science / Education / Training

The Accidental Technology Trainer: A Guide for Libraries by Stephanie K. Gerding (Information Today, Inc.)

Here is a guide for library staff who find themselves newly responsible for technology training – whether in computer labs, classrooms, or one-on-one with library users. Author Stephanie Gerding addresses the most common concerns of new trainers, recommends proven tools and techniques, and shares advice from her fellow library tech trainers. Gerding is an independent consultant and author specializing in training, technology, and fundraising for libraries. She has trained thousands of librarians through her work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and has managed statewide library training programs at New Mexico and Arizona State libraries.

The Accidental Technology Trainer is designed to help staff get up to speed quickly, showing them how to integrate expert tips and tricks and leverage their natural skills to ensure results in any library technology training situation. It pro­vides reassurance by conveying practical methods for training success. =

The Accidental Technology Trainer provides the tools and instruction readers need, along with advice from library training experts with much wisdom to share. This book addresses the most common concerns Gerding has heard from new train­ers, including fear of failure, lack of confidence in front of groups, fear of public speaking, uncertainty about how to deal with diffi­cult or unexpected situations, and worry about all the planning and details involved with training.

This book differs from general computer training manuals in that it focuses on the library environment, which differs from corporate training settings in several ways. Most libraries, for example, do not charge for training, and library trainers must deal with a myriad of skill levels and an increased need for flexibility. Librarians, further, are often natural trainers, given their backgrounds in ref­erence skills, information organization, programming (summer reading, reader's advisory), knowledge of resources, online search­ing and evaluation, information-seeking behaviors, and project planning.

The Accidental Technology Trainer progresses through what readers need to know to be successful accidental library technology trainers. Chapter 1, Being an Accidental Technology Trainer, answers basic questions, including: Why should libraries provide technology training? What types of technology training do libraries usually offer?

Chapter 2, Discovering Training Principles, conveys basic train­ing principles, including learning philosophies and theories and creat­ing a learning community. The chapter focuses on learning as an active process and the importance of learner-centered training.

Chapter 3, Identifying Library Technology Training Skills, dis­cusses the most important skills a successful technology trainer needs, and how to evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses in terms of these skills. Readers learn how to use their existing library skills and education within their new training responsibilities.

Chapter 4, Knowing Your Library Learners, stresses that learners vary based on interests, skill levels, age, attitudes, motivation, and learning styles. Learning styles are explained, and advice is given on how to address learn­ing preferences in training.

Chapter 5, Learning Interactively, shows the importance of using hands-on activities to ensure that learning not only happens but is retained. Interactive learning can be difficult for new library trainers to understand, but it can transform how they train, increasing the odds of success for both the trainer and the partici­pants. Examples of activities are included in this chapter. Chapter 6, Creating and Maintaining Interest, works from the understanding that learning and retention cannot happen when a trainer loses participants' attention. Readers learn valuable methods for maintaining interest based on discussion of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, David McClelland's theory of learned needs, and John Keller's ARCS motivation model.

Chapter 7, Planning Technology Training, demonstrates that, while trainers may be accidental, planning should always be pur­poseful. This chapter covers the importance of using the library's vision and strategic plan as the foundation for developing staff and public technology training plans. The com­mon elements of a training plan are thoroughly examined, and examples are provided. Chapter 8, Organizing and Designing the Workshop, takes plan­ning to the micro level, discussing ways to plan individual workshops. By developing a workshop plan, trainers can organize their workshops as well as share their planning. Readers learn how to: develop learning objectives; include short modules in their workshops; use training techniques; develop evaluation forms; create materials to share information; and focus on administrative details.

Chapter 9, Dealing with Difficult Library Training Situations, recognizes that accidental library trainers have to deal with a vari­ety of difficult and challenging scenarios. Among these are: varied skill levels; challenging participants; technology failures; and registration problems. Readers learn how to deal with problems that can arise in workshops. Chapter 10, Examining Best Practices in Library Technology Training, provides kernels of knowledge from interviews with library technology trainers from around the country. The chapter showcases their best practices, their most popular workshops, and their advice to accidental trainers.

Chapter 11, Keeping Current and Sharing Resources, pulls together a wealth of information on where to find help, including blogs, lists, online and print resources, sources for curriculum and training ideas, and ways to share resources and recommended reading.

Librarians have become navigators on the sea of the Internet, and The Accidental Technology Trainer is a tool as useful as a compass! This book will strengthen those professional training skills that are essential for successful 21st century librarians. – Susan Hildreth, State Librarian of California.

Should be required reading for all librarians in public, special, and post-secondary libraries who interact with adults in training, teaching, coaching, and supervisory situations. ... What a pleasure to have a thoroughly intelligent, readable, and enjoyable book for professional development! – Dr. Mary Bushing Coordinator, MPLA Leadership Institute.

If readers are faced with technology training needs, are not sure what to do, or feel like they are flying by the seat of their pants, The Accidental Technology Trainer gives them the techniques, meth­ods, and inspiration to go out and thrive as trainers. Accidental technology trainers learn how they can leverage their natural skills and combine these with helpful new tips and tricks to be successful in their training. The book is for the many librarians who find themselves responsible for conducting technology training, The book is also ideal for experienced trainers looking for fresh ideas and inspiration. Visit Amazon's Sylvia Kahan PageFind all the books, read about the author, and more.See search results for this author Are you an author? Learn about Author Central.

 

Contents this Issue:

A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge by Josh Neufeld (Pantheon Books)

King of Heists: The Sensational Bank Robbery of 1878 That Shocked America by J. North Conway (The Lyons Press)

$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better by Christopher Steiner (Grand Central Publishing)

The Mentee's Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You by Lois J. Zachary, with Lory A. Fischler (Jossey-Bass)

Ores to Metals: The Rocky Mountain Smelting Industry by James Fell Jr. (A Timberline Book: University Press of Colorado)

Dillerland: The Story of Media Mogul Barry Diller by Jerome Tuccille (Alyson Books)

Taxpertise: The Complete Book of Dirty Little Secrets and Tax Deductions for Small Businesses the IRS Doesn't Want You to Know by Bonnie Lee (Entrepreneur Press)

K is for Kabuki: A Japan Alphabet by Gloria Whelan & Jenny Nolan (Discover the World Series: Sleeping Bear Press)

In Search of New Scales: Prince Edmond de Polignac, Octatonic Explorer by Sylvia Kahan (Eastman Studies in Music Series: University of Rochester Press)

However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, and a Journey Home by Awista Ayub (Hyperion)

Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement by Patricia Sullivan (New Press)

The US Army's First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: The 2d Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korean War, 1950-1951 by Edward L. Posey (Savas Beatie)

Eden Within Eden: Oregon’s Utopian Heritage by James J. Kopp (Oregon State University Press)

Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive: Decolonizing Botanical Anishinaabe Teachings by Wendy Makoons Geniusz, illustrated by Annmarie Geniusz (Iroquois and Their Neighbors Series: Syracuse University Press)

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz (Hyperion)

Marketing Interior Design by Lloyd Princeton (Allworth Press)

The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolaño, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews (New Directions)

The Spirituality of Sex by J. Harold Ellens (Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality Series: Praeger)

Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement by Irene Spencer (Center Street)

The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together by Charles T. Tart (Institute of Noetic Sciences & New Harbinger Publications)

Biocultural Diversity and Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Human Ecology in the Arctic by Karim-Aly Kassam (University of Calgary Press)

Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate by Panel on Strategies and Methods for Climate-Related Decision Support, National Research Council (National Academies Press)

The Accidental Technology Trainer: A Guide for Libraries by Stephanie K. Gerding (Information Today, Inc.)